Civilians leave Baghuz amid yet another rumor of “last” battle

“At least 10 trucks carrying men, women and children left the Islamic State group’s last redoubt in eastern Syria on Wednesday, in a sign a final assault may be approaching,” AFP writes.  Sources on the ground wrote “the number of people who left the camp is between 600 to 1000. There may be as many as a few hundred people left inside.”

Rumors of a “deal” between the SDF and ISIS are swirling and this reminds some of the deal that let ISIS members leave Raqqa. “We have special forces working on the evacuation of civilians. After many days of trying, we were able to evacuate the first batch today,” SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali told AFP.

But Mahmoud Sheikh Ibrahim provides more detail

“What is happening now is that all people who were at the small camp close to Iraqi border has surrendered themselves to SDF and about60 trucks are evacuating them now. But there still some.”

It began on the morning of the February 19, with numerous trucks and buses brought up to take the ISIS families out. For such a small village, a massive number of people, thousands in the last weeks, have come out. Some were living in a tent city near the area.

Trucks had arrived on February 19, clearly part of an arrangement and halt in the fighting. “SDF made final warning to remaining militants to surrender. Most of them are seriously wounded or sick. Obviously Daesh can’t keep civilians inside anymore as thousands are on their way out,” notes Zana Amedi..

 

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