ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US-led coalition airstrikes killed at least 50 Islamic State militants who were hiding in caves in Syria’s Baghouz, a monitoring group said on Thursday.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the coalition air raids targeted members of the extremist group who were hiding in caves as well as bunkers underground.
It said at least 50 terrorists were killed in the offensive as ongoing efforts from the coalition and its Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allies continue to clear the region of Islamic State remnants.
Following a prolonged military offensive on the extremist group’s last remaining pocket of territory in war-torn Syria, the US-backed SDF announced victory over the Islamic State on March 23.
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The final push was initially put on hold earlier this month by the coalition and the SDF in an attempt to spare civilian lives and hostages that were being held captive by the resisting militants.
During the months-long operation, thousands of Islamic State fighters and their wives and children surrendered to the Kurdish-led forces.
The announcement marked the end of the so-called Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate from June 2014, which at its height controlled an area comparable to the size of Britain, with a population estimated at 12 million people under its control.
The US-led coalition campaign, launched in 2014 to counter the extremist group, has spanned five years and two US presidencies.
The war has affected hundreds of thousands, with many still suffering from the atrocities the Islamic State had committed.