SDF launches assault on last Isis enclave in eastern Syria

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On several occasions the village was struck with apparent cluster fire.

Earlier, Bali tweeted that "the timeline. for ISIS to surrender themselves is over" and that SDF forces were ready to "finish what is left in ISIS hands".

The video obtained by AP was shot on Wednesday by a fighter from the People's Protection Units, or YPG, the main Kurdish militia which is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces. They packed high-caliber bullets into munitions belts and headed to the front line.

Warplanes flew above Baghouz, a cluster of houses on the banks of the Euphrates at the Iraqi border where Islamic State fighters still hold out, and smoke rose from the area along with the sound of intermittent clashes.

The final push was initially put on hold by the US-led coalition and the SDF to save civilians and hostages that were being held captive by the remaining Islamic State fighters.

Islamic State on Saturday said it had carried out a suicide auto bomb attack near the Syrian town of Manbij to signal to foreign troops that they are not safe in the country.

The SDF had given the extremists an ultimatum on Friday to surrender or prepare for battle. About 20,000 Islamic State fighters and family members have come out of Baghouz so far, said the official, who requested anonymity.

The militants once controlled 88,000 sq km of territory in Iraq and Syria, where around eight million people lived under its strict Islamist regime.

The SDF has been marching toward Baghouz since September.

Those emerging from Baghouz are screened by the SDF and most are sent north to the al-Hol camp, already overcrowded with uprooted Syrians and Iraqis from years of war.

The SDF waited outside Baghouz for weeks before launching the assault so that civilians could be evacuated. But since Friday, only a small group has left.

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However, he said no civilians had left the area on Sunday which is why the SDF chose to resume their offensive.

A USA senior defense official said in Washington on Friday that it would not be a surprise, based on current conditions, if it took another couple of weeks to finish "mopping up" the IS enclave.

Women and children who were evacuated out of the last territory held by Isis militants. The fight against IS has taken place amid Syria's almost eight-year-old civil war.

In southern Syria, dozens of people demonstrated Sunday in the city of Daraa to protest the construction of a statue of late Syrian President Hafez Assad, days before the country marks the eighth anniversary of the country's crisis, Syrian opposition activists said.

On Monday, the head of the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said there were about 3,000 children from 43 countries living in al-Hol, along with many more Syrian and Iraqi children, in "extremely dire conditions".

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The late Assad is the father of President Bashar Assad whose forces have made major gains over the past few years in the war with backing from his strong allies, Russian Federation and Iran.

SDF explosives experts have begun removing mines and booby-traps "to open the way for our attacking forces", the SDF statement said.

Other opposition activist collectives, including Sham Network, also reported the protest. Numerous women arriving at the camp are either heavily pregnant or have recently given birth, IRC said.

The U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Syrian businessmen and entities they consider close to the government.

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