ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Islamic State fighters on Friday targeted their own members as they desert the group’s last enclave in eastern Syria, currently under siege by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The incident comes as members of the terrorist group continue to surrender in droves to the Kurdish-led SDF, which is leading a long-winded battle to end the territorial grip of the Islamic State, now limited to a small enclave they control in the Baghouz area in Deir al-Zor Province.
The SDF recently gave the holed up Islamic State terrorists an ultimatum to surrender or prepare for battle, eventually relaunching their offensive in Baghouz a day later after they refused to give themselves up.
The final push was initially put on hold by the US-led coalition and the SDF in an attempt to save civilians and hostages that were being held captive by the remaining militants.
SDF commander Adnan Efrin told Kurdistan 24 on Sunday that the Kurdish-led forces had rescued tens of thousands of civilians during the past month with thousands of Islamic State members surrendering as well.
“Da’esh [ISIS] terrorists carried out three simultaneous suicide attacks against surrendering families and [ISIS fighters] at the crossing that links to our forces,” SDF spokesperson, Mustafa Bali, said in a Twitter post.
One such attack, the official added, occurred “at the crossing, resulting in the deaths of six surrendering [persons] and a number of injuries.” Bali said three SDF fighters were also injured.
The attackers wearing “women’s clothing detonated suicide vests while mixed with other members of Daesh [ISIS] & their children,” explained an online statement from the international US-led anti-Islamic State coalition.
Three Daesh fighters in women's clothing detonated suicide vests while mixed with other members of Daesh & their children who were trying to surrender to #SDF in Baghouz. The blast resulted in casualties among the SDF & members of Daesh & their children trying to surrender.— Inherent Resolve (@CJTFOIR) March 15, 2019
It added: “The SDF takes all precautions to protect human life. We commend the #SDF for their bravery and sacrifice.”
Editing by Nadia Riva