Backed Syria force announces final push against IS

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President Donald Trump said on February 8 that USA diplomats had a "very productive meeting" with North Korean officials, and announced that his summit later this month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be held in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi.

Relative calm is prevailing eastern Syria as the negotiation for the withdrawal of the IS from the last four sq km it controls in the eastern Euphrates River is ongoing, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Trump announced in December he was pulling all 2,000 US troops out of Syria, saying the battle against Islamic State there was nearly won.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an absconding leader of the militant Islamic State, survived an internal coup after some of his fighter's tried to assassinate him in the Syrian city of Hajin, the Guardian reported.

"They are attempting to escape through intermixing with the innocent women and children attempting to flee the fighting", Ghika said in a statement. "We have chosen a political agreement with Damascus because we don't want secession from Syria", senior Kurdish official Badran Jia Kurdi told AFP.

USA and SDF officials say, however, they have no reason to believe he is there.

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The jihadists are now clinging on to a small sliver of land near the village of Baghouz in eastern Syria and many residents are fleeing and turning themselves in ahead of a final offensive.

Kurdish authorities say they have in their custody hundreds of foreign male IS members.

Most of the dozen or so attackers were killed and two managed to escape after a battle lasting several hours, during which USA airstrikes were called in, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

The conservative chancellor said monitoring events in Syria was one of the BND's top priorities, which also include tracking cyber threats and fake news created to influence democratic elections.

IS has suffered substantial losses, but the United Nations says it still reportedly controls between 14,000 and 18,000 militants in Iraq and Syria, including up to 3,000 foreigners.

"ISIS isn't finished yet", one commander said this week. "There's been a total lack of transparency, and bad things happen in the dark", he warned.

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