On Tuesday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that they had taken control over the camp in Islamic State’s (ISIS) last pocket of control in Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria, adding that they had taken a large number of the group’s fighters captive.
An SDF spokesman, Mustafa Bali, said in a tweet that they had, “taken control over the Baghouz town camp, the last ISIS point in the town.”
In a related development, Bali told the Reuters agency that the SDF had taken prisoner hundreds of the group’s fighters who had been wounded when they took control of the camp, where the fighters had been holed up. He said that the wounded fighters were moved from the Baghouz pocket to Hassakeh province in northeastern Syria and that they were being treated well.
The Baghouz pocket is a small area between the Euphrates River and a number of hills on the Iraqi border. The area is overflowing with carts and temporary camps and at night had been subjected to artillery and airstrikes.
Baghouz is the last populated area still under ISIS’s control, after it took control, in 2014, of a third of Syria and Iraq before its attacks and brutal acts contributed to consolidating the efforts of foreign and regional countries to eliminate it.
Over the last two months, more than 60,000 people have left Baghouz, about half of them members of the organization who are surrounded, including about 5,000 fighters.
While the capturing of Baghouz is definite milestone in the war against the group, regional and Western officials say that they still represents a threat.
On Monday, the group called for its fighters in northern and eastern Syria to take “revenge” on the Kurds, saying that the “caliphate has triumphed.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.