SDF launch last push against ISIS in Syria

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The coalition has been training and providing aerial support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which launched an offensive on the last patch of militant territory last September.

"The battle will be launched this evening and its mission will be to eliminate the last remnants of the terrorist organisation", Mustafa Bali, the head of the SDF media office, said.

A total of three civilians were killed Saturday by a US -led airstrike on the Islamic State (IS)-held area in eastern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

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.

But a top US general said on Tuesday the group would pose an enduring threat following the USA withdrawal, as it retained leaders, fighters, facilitators and resources that would fuel a menacing insurgency.

"This battle will be sealed in the coming days".

Bali did not say how long they expect the battle to last.

Scores of ISIS fighters are now besieged in a small area consisting of two villages, or less than once percent of the self-styled caliphate that once sprawled across large parts of Syria and Iraq.

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Near the battlefield, an SDF spokesman at the Omar oil field turned military base, said: "Progress is slow".

Hundreds of civilians are also believed to be trapped inside one of the last IS territories.

The SDF said it has not been in communication or agreed the ceasefire with IS. Some of these are the most battle-hardened, ruthless and experienced fighters remaining in ISIS.

More than 37,000 people, mostly wives and children of jihadist fighters, have fled ISIS territory since the SDF, backed by the US-led coalition, intensified its offensive in December, according to the Observatory.

The SDF said it arrested 63 suspected militants in IS's former Syrian capital Raqa on Thursday during an operation against sleeper cells.

The SDF, which includes the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), backed by Americans, has been a bone of contention in Washington's ties with Ankara. Families who lived under the grip of ISIS until the bitter end.

"We are not discussing the timeline of the U.S".

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