http://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/newsbriefs/2019/03/15/newsbrief-03

SDF consolidate positions as ISIS holdout shrinks

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) consolidated their positions around the last holdout of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) on Friday (March 15th), AFP reported.

The SDF said "1,300 terrorists and their families" gave themselves up on Thursday alone as its fighters slowed their advance to allow them to exit the enclave.

The SDF said its fighters were consolidating their positions after ISIS counter-attacks and foiled suicide bombings.

The force was "consolidating and rotating its troops", SDF spokesman Jiaker Amed said.

"There are still women and children who want to surrender, so we are obliged to slow down operations," he said, from the neighbouring village of al-Sousa.

"Operations risk being slowed again today to allow more departures of extremists and their families," he said.

He was unable to give an estimate for the number of people left inside al-Baghouz.

"Those left are strongly attached to the (extremists’) ideology," he said. "There are a lot of suicide bombers but there are also families and children."

Since the months-old SDF offensive resumed on March 10th, more than 3,000 suspected members of ISIS have surrendered, according to the SDF.

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