Syrian Democratic Forces - updates

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Syria's Kurds call for international court to try ISIS jihadists

Mar 25, 2019 - 8:36 PM

(UPDATED) In this way, 'trials can be conducted fairly and in accordance with international law and human rights covenants and charters,' the Syria Kurdish administration says

ISIS IN SYRIA. Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters wait to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving the ISIS group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 22, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Jihadists emerge from tunnels to surrender after 'caliphate' falls

Mar 25, 2019 - 9:52 AM

(UPDATED) An AFP reporter says he saw dozens of people – mostly men – file out of the battered jihadist encampment in the remote village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border to board pickup trucks

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk in the village of Baghouz in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border on March 24, 2019, a day after the Islamic State (IS) group's "caliphate" was declared defeated by the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF.  Delil souleiman / AFP

Philippines hails fall of last ISIS territory

Mar 24, 2019 - 9:40 AM

But the Philippines, where ISIS influence persists, says the fight 'is not over'

VICTORY AT LAST. A female fighter of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) flashes the victory gesture while celebrating near the Omar oil field in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province on March 23, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

LOOK: The day the ISIS 'caliphate' fell

Mar 23, 2019 - 4:56 PM

Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces raise their yellow flag in Baghouz and pronounce the death of the Islamic State group's nearly five-year-old 'caliphate'

An image grab released by the Kurdish Ronahi TV on March 23, 2019 shows the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) raising their flag atop a building in the Islamic State group's last bastion in the eastern Syrian village of Baghuz after defeating the jihadist group. - Kurdish-led forces pronounced the death of the Islamic State group's nearly five-year-old "caliphate" on March 23, 2019 after flushing out diehard jihadists from their very last bastion in eastern Syria. (Photo by Handout / RONAHI TV / AFP) / XGTY / == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / RONAHI TV" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

U.S.-backed Syrian forces fight last ISIS jihadists

Mar 23, 2019 - 10:06 AM

Though the WHite House says the 'caliphate' has been wiped out, the Syrian Democratic Forces say clashes are still ongoing

WAR. A fighter of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) loads an ammunition belt at a position in the village of Baghouz, near Syria's border with Iraq, in the eastern Deir Ezzor province on March 15, 2019 during the SDF's preparations to advance in the battle against the last pocket of Islamic State group jihadists. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Syria force combs last ISIS hideouts in Baghouz

Mar 21, 2019 - 11:24 PM

Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustefa Bali says a victory announcement would be premature

LAST JIHADISTS. Smoke rises in the Islamic State group's last remaining position on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River (C) in the village of Baghouz during battles with the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the countryside of the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 18, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Syria's Kurds criticize Damascus 'threats'

Mar 19, 2019 - 6:13 PM

Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub says his government will recapture all areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces 'in one of two ways: a reconciliation agreement or...by force'

ON KURDS. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 18, 2019 shows Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub speaking during a press conference with Iraq and Iran's Chiefs of Staff in the Syrian capital Damascus. AFP PHOTO / HO / SANA

Syria force says 'thousands' still inside last ISIS pocket

Mar 18, 2019 - 8:07 AM

Tens of thousands of dishevelled women, children and men have streamed out of a small pocket in the village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border in recent weeks – and they still keep coming

A fighter of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walks carrying a machine gun at a position close to the camp of Baghouz where remaining Islamic State (IS) group fighters and their families are holding out in the last position controlled by IS, awaiting to advance on them in the countryside of the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 17, 2019.  Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

Anti-ISIS Syria force boosted as jihadist holdout shrinks

Mar 15, 2019 - 11:58 PM

The country's devastating conflict enters its ninth year with more than 370,000 dead

NINTH YEAR. People said to be members of the Islamic State group by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, exit with children from the village of Baghouz in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 14, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

U.S.-backed Syria force pummels last ISIS bastion

Mar 14, 2019 - 7:14 PM

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have since March 10 rained fire on the enclave in a bend of the Euphrates River, blitzing thousands of ISIS members into surrender

FRONTLINES. Fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pictured in the town of Baghouz, on the frontline of fighting to expel the Islamic State group from the area, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 12, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

More surrenders from ISIS Syria bastion as end nears

Mar 12, 2019 - 11:36 PM

Airstrikes and shelling have pummelled Baghouz for two nights in a row, killing scores of fighters and prompting hundreds of jihadists and their relatives to surrender

TIME'S UP. A fighter with the Syrian Democratic Forces fires a machine gun in a position in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor outside the Islamic State group's embattled holdout of Baghouz, on March 11, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

In Syrian riverside camp, ISIS clings to last scrap of 'caliphate'

Mar 08, 2019 - 6:35 PM

The Syrian Democratic Forces are waiting for all civilians to be evacuated before moving in to retake the last scrap of ISIS-held territory

SCREENING AREA. Civilians evacuated from the Islamic State group's embattled holdout of Baghouz wait at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 5, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Syria force to resume evacuations after piercing last ISIS redoubt

Mar 05, 2019 - 7:58 PM

The latest evacuees also include relatives of jihadists, as well as civilians who had been held by the group as 'human shields'

SEARCH. A man (C) suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group, who spoke to AFP journalists in French, sits in the back of a truck as he waits to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) just after leaving ISIS' last holdout of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 4, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Syria's Kurds set free nearly 300 ISIS-linked Syrians

Mar 03, 2019 - 6:09 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not the first release of ISIS-linked prisoners by Kurdish authorities, but the number was particularly large this time

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Syria force poised for final assault on ISIS

Feb 28, 2019 - 10:54 PM

The Syrian Democratic Forces estimates the number of people inside the last ISIS redoubt at anything from a few hundred to several thousand

Syria forces try to free last civilians from ISIS holdout

Feb 21, 2019 - 10:08 PM

(UPDATED) Security officials in Iraq say the Syrian Democratic Forces has handed over 130 Iraqi jihadists to Iraq on February 21, but SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali denies the claim

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Convoy plucks women, children from last ISIS holdout in Syria

Feb 20, 2019 - 10:07 PM

Around 15 trucks carrying men, women, and children have exited the last patch of ISIS territory in eastern Syria, according to Agence France-Presse correspondents

ISIS' LAST HOLDOUT. Islamic State group's fighters and their families sit in the back of a truck as they leave ISIS's last holdout of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 20, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Syria jihadists trapped in last square kilometer

Feb 14, 2019 - 10:51 PM

'The fighting is fierce,' says Adnan Afrin, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces

BAGHOUZ. A military vehicle with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces rides during an operation to expel Islamic State group jihadists from the Baghouz area in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on February 13, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

ISIS defends last Syria redoubt, as family members flee

Feb 14, 2019 - 1:35 AM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Syrian Democratic Forces fighters are making painstaking progress

U.S.-backed Syrian forces battle to take last ISIS pocket

Feb 11, 2019 - 10:47 PM

More than 4 years after the extremists declared a 'caliphate' across large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq, several offensives have whittled that proto-state down to a tiny holdout

LAST POCKET. Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces walk in the front line village of Baghouz in the countryside of the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province, on the border with Iraq, on February 2, 2019. FILE Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Kurd-led forces overrun last ISIS-held village in Syria – monitor

Jan 23, 2019 - 7:20 PM

(UPDATED) 'Search operations are continuing in Baghouz to find any IS fighters who are still hiding,' says Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES. This file photo shows fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces attending the funeral of a local official that the SDF say was assassinated in a Kurdish-held area in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, in the Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on December 31, 2018. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Suicide attack on Kurdish-U.S. convoy in Syria 'kills 5'

Jan 21, 2019 - 10:21 PM

The assault, claimed by ISIS jihadists, comes less than a week after another deadly attack on US forces in Syria, and a month after Washington announced a US troop pullout from the war-torn country

ANOTHER ATTACK. An image grab taken from a video published by Hawar News Agency (ANHA) on January 21, 2019, shows the scene of a suicide car bomb attack on a military convoy on a road in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, which killed 5 members of a Kurdish-led force accompanying US-led coalition troops. AFP PHOTO / HO / ANHA

ISIS counterattack in east Syria leaves 32 dead

Jan 08, 2019 - 8:52 PM

Using the bad weather as a cover, the Islamic State group launches a vain but deadly counter-attack against Kurdish-led fighters

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 30, 2018, shows a line of US military vehicles in Syria's northern city of Manbij. US President Donald Trump on January 7, 2019 sought to end fears of an abrupt US pullout from Syria, saying the fight against the Islamic State group was not over and that withdrawal would be done in a "prudent" manner."We will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!" Trump tweeted.  Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

Trump plans full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria

Dec 19, 2018 - 11:52 PM

The US president tweets: 'We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency'

TRUMP AND MEDICAID. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fair Expo Center on October 13, 2016 in West Palm Beach, Florida. File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

U.S.-backed forces retake ISIS hub in east Syria – monitor

Dec 14, 2018 - 4:07 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Syrian Democratic Forces have secured Hajin, the largest settlement in what is the last pocket of territory controlled by the Islamic State group

SDF. Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces attend the funeral a fellow fighter killed in the town of Hajin during battles against the Islamic State group, in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishly in northeastern Syria, on December 3, 2018. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Anti-ISIS coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria

Nov 17, 2018 - 9:28 PM

Seventeen children were among 36 IS family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says

IN SYRIA. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters attend the funeral of a fellow fighter, killed in an offensive by the Islamic State movement against an SDF position near Deir Ezzor, in the northern Syria Kurdish town of Kobane, on November 6, 2018. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

ISIS suffers heavy Syria losses despite Kurd pause – monitor

Nov 08, 2018 - 12:20 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says waves of US-led air strikes since Monday, November 5, have killed 48 jihadists, including during two ISIS assaults on oilfields north of the Hajin enclave

IN SYRIA. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters attend the funeral of a fellow fighter, killed in an offensive by the Islamic State movement against an SDF position near Deir Ezzor, in the northern Syria Kurdish town of Kobane, on November 6, 2018. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Hundreds taken by ISIS from displacement camp in east Syria

Oct 13, 2018 - 6:50 PM

A number of fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces dies trying to defend the camp in a battle that lasted several hours

FUNERAL. Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attend the funeral of fellow fighters in the northeastern city of Qamishli on September 14, 2018. File photo Delil Souleiman/AFP

Kurds eye decentralized Syria in talks with government

Jul 28, 2018 - 7:37 PM

(UPDATED) The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance says it it has agreed with the government to form joint committees and forge a 'roadmap leading to a democratic and decentralized Syria'

RUBBLE. Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk amidst the rubble of destroyed buildings in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on August 7, 2016, as they comb the city in search of the last remaining jihadists, a day after they retook it from the Islamic State group. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

German jihadist tied to 9/11 attacks caught in Syria – Pentagon

Apr 20, 2018 - 1:12 PM

Mohammad Haydar Zammar has been accused of recruiting some of the September 11 Al-Qaeda hijackers who carried out attacks on Washington and New York, killing almost 3,000 people

Fight against Islamic State evolves following battlefield wins

Mar 09, 2018 - 2:44 PM

'The future of the coalition is trying to share – radically share – information and intelligence in a way that makes sense,' says Terry Wolff, Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the US-led coalition

SAFETY CHECK. In this file photo, a member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) inspects the municipal stadium in Raqa on October 18, 2017, after the US-backed forces retook the city from Islamic State (ISIS) group fighters. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

11 Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive in Syria

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:54 AM

The fatalities follow Turkey sending troops and launching air strikes against Kurdish militia in Northern Syria

2 British ISIS 'Beatles' fighters captured in Syria – U.S. official

Feb 09, 2018 - 10:30 AM

Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh are believed to have 'participated in the detention, exploitation and execution of Western detainees'

US-led strikes kill 100 pro-regime personnel in Syria – military

Feb 08, 2018 - 3:53 PM

The strikes were to counter an 'unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters,' the US Central Command says

U.S.-backed forces seize major Syria oilfield

Oct 22, 2017 - 7:31 PM

The Al-Omar oilfield in the province of Deir Ezzor had been a key source of income for the ISIS, reaping revenues up to $5.1 million per month

FUNDING. The Al-Omar oilfield in the province of Deir Ezzor produced 30,000 barrels per day before the start of Syria's conflict in 2011 and became a key source of income for the jihadists after they seized it in 2014.

Fighters in Syria's Raqa prepare for civilian handover

Oct 20, 2017 - 11:37 AM

Raqa's capture leaves the jihadists with little remaining territory in Syria, most of it in neighboring Deir Ezzor province, where some SDF fighters are already headed to carry on the campaign

Forces comb ghost city Raqa after ISIS ouster

Oct 19, 2017 - 7:24 AM

US-backed forces comb the ruins of Raqa for survivors and bombs after retaking the Syrian city from Islamic State (ISIS) group jihadists

SAFETY CHECK. A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) inspects the municipal stadium in Raqa on October 18, 2017, after the US-backed forces retook the city from Islamic State (ISIS) group fighters. Bulent Kilic/AFP

ISIS loses emblematic Syria stronghold Raqa

Oct 17, 2017 - 8:55 PM

The victory caps a battle of more than 4 months for Raqa, and hammers another nail in the coffin of the jihadist group's experiment in statehood

RETAKEN. Rojda Felat, a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander, walks with her group's flag at the iconic Al-Naim square in Raqa on October 17, 2017. Bulent Kilic/AFP

'Final phase' of battle for Raqa as ISIS fighters leave

Oct 15, 2017 - 7:42 PM

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia says the last phase of the fighting would 'end the presence of the terrorist mercenaries inside the city'

UNREST. Armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations forces ride in the back of a pickup truck in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqa on May 25, 2016. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Dozens of IS fighters surrender as Raqa's fall nears

Oct 14, 2017 - 9:27 PM

The city's loss would be a new blow for IS, which has already been driven from its strongholds in Iraq including second city Mosul

Civilians in ISIS-held Raqa under fire 'from all sides' – Amnesty

Aug 24, 2017 - 12:35 PM

Residents trapped in the Syrian city of Raqa face the threat of air strikes and intense artillery fire

Members of an Armenian Christian family who fled from Raqa stand near fighters from the Syriac Military Council (SMC), a Christian unit battling alongside the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces to oust the Islamic State from their Syrian stronghold, on August 8, 2017 in Jazra, a western suburb of Raqa. Sawsan Karapetyan and her family lived years of fear as some of the only Christians in the Islamic State group's Syrian stronghold Raqa, and on August 8, she fled clutching her rosary. They were rescued by Christian fighters participating in the battle to oust IS from Raqa, who brought them to the safety of the western Jazra suburb in the back of a truck.  / AFP PHOTO / Delil souleiman / “The erroneous mention appearing in the metadata of this photo by Delil souleiman has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Inserting correct caption instead of the one sent. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.

U.S.-backed forces breach ISIS defenses in heart of Syria's Raqa

Jul 04, 2017 - 11:55 AM

3rd UPDATE The landmark advance in ISIS s notorious Syria bastion comes as the jihadists face an expected defeat within days in Iraq s second city Mosul

NEAR RAQA. In this file photo, a fighter from the Syriac Military Council (SMC), a small minority of Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in the combat against the Islamic State (ISIS) group, walks in the suburb of al-Rumaniya on the western outskirts of Raqa on June 27, 2017, after the area was seized from the jihadists. Delil Souleiman/AFP

The week in photos: June 24-30, 2017

Jul 01, 2017 - 1:17 PM

This week s selection of photo highlights here and around the world

An enthusiast browse through a collection of toys on display during the 2017 ToyCon Pop Life FanXperience at the SMX Convention Center, in Pasay on June 30, 2017. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

U.S.-backed forces cut off last ISIS escape route from Raqa

Jun 30, 2017 - 2:36 PM

But ISIS fighters hit back with a counterattack that included several suicide bombings against the Syrian Democratic Forces an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters trying to seize control of the city

RAQA. A fighter from the Syriac Military Council (SMC), a small minority of Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in the combat against the Islamic State (IS) group, walks in the suburb of al-Rumaniya on the western outskirts of Raqa on June 27, 2017, after the area was seized from the jihadists. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

U.S.-backed Syria force advances in Raqa, battles for base

Jun 12, 2017 - 1:15 AM

The Syrian Democratic Forces says its fighters had liberated the neighborhood of Al Romaniya on the western front of Raqa

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) made up of an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, unloaded boxes of ammunition, supplied by the US-led coalition, in a village north of Raqa on June 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN

U.S.-backed fighters thrust into ISIS bastion Raqa

Jun 06, 2017 - 5:25 PM

3rd UPDATE The attack on the northern city at the heart of ISIS Syrian territory has been 7 months in the making and is backed by air support military advisers and weapons deliveries from the US led coalition

Dozens dead as car bomb hits Syria evacuees

Apr 15, 2017 - 8:49 PM

2nd UPDATE Thousands of evacuees from Fuaa and Kafraya have waited in Rashidin for more than a day when a bomb goes off The evacuation resumes following the blast

U.S.-backed fighters battle ISIS around north Syria town

Mar 27, 2017 - 12:45 AM

UPDATED Operations are currently focused on the strategically important town of Tabqa on the Euphrates River and the adjacent dam and military airport

Thousands flee Syria army advance in north – monitor

Mar 04, 2017 - 7:31 PM

Most of the fleeing civilians have gone to areas around Manbij under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces

PATROL. Manbij Military Council forces, part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), drive a humvee as they patrol the surrounding roads of in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on March 3, 2017. Delil Souleiman/AFP

ISIS tightens grip in Syria bastion Raqa as assault nears

Nov 16, 2016 - 11:54 AM

Residents say jihadists are trying to tighten their grip on power in Raqa as US backed forces near the Islamic State ISIS group s Syrian bastion

ESCAPING ISIS. Syrians women and children rest on the way from areas controlled by jihadists of the Islamic State (ISIS) group, en route to safety in areas held by by Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, on November 9, 2016, near the village of Mazraat Khaled, some 40 km away from ISIS's de-facto capital of Raqa. Delil Souleiman/AFP