Backed Syrian force launches 'final battle' against Islamic State

Kurds in Iraq say US withdrawal from Syria a mistake

Peshmerga fighters say they captured these ISIL armoured vehicles that were filled with explosives

The US military is preparing to withdraw all of its troops from Syria by the end of April even as the Donald Trump administration is yet to come up with a plan to protect its Kurdish partners from attack when its forces pull out, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The jihadists are now clinging on to a small sliver of land near the village of Baghouz in eastern Syria and many residents are fleeing and turning themselves in ahead of a final offensive.

"There hasn't been any big advance or change on our side over the past 5 days", an SDF spokesman told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Friday.

The SDF, backed by the USA -led coalition, has defeated ISIL across a swathe of northern and eastern Syria.

Hundreds of civilians are also believed to be inside.

Scores of Isis fighters are now besieged in two villages, or less than 1% of the self-styled caliphate that once sprawled across large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The president told representatives of a 79-member, US-led coalition fighting ISIS that the militants held a tiny percentage of the vast territory they claimed as their "caliphate". While the bounty doesn't explicitly reveal the reason why the veteran foreign terrorist fighter has fallen in disfavour, intelligence officials, cited by The Guardian, suggest that he led the unsuccessful coup attempt aimed against the leader, Sputnk says. A series of assaults have left that proto-state in tatters.

Trump said on Wednesday that he expected a formal announcement as early as next week that the coalition fighting the militants has reclaimed all of the territory it previously held.

On Thursday, the coalition said the "caliphate" had massively shrunk.

The U.S. military is preparing to withdraw all of its forces from Syria by the end of April, the Wall Street Journal has reported on February 7. But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq, and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said SDF fighters are advancing "cautiously" due to mines planted by IS gunmen.

It said 401 civilians, including 144 children and teenagers, have been killed since then.

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