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The coalition has been training and providing air support to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which launched an offensive on the last pocket of jihadist territory in September 2018.

"It should be formally announced sometime, probably next week, that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate", Trump told representatives of the 79-member, USA -led coalition fighting IS.

A senior Trump administration official briefed on objectives outlined at the meeting, speaking to the reporter, said, "As the president has stated, the USA will maintain whatever capability is necessary for operations needed to prevent the Islamic State's resurgence". The US-backed fighters foiled an ISIS counter-attack at around 4.00am local time, according to Mr Bali, who said "heavy fighting" was taking place inside the last village.

At its height, the hardline proto-state proclaimed by ISIS in June 2014 straddled swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and was roughly the size of Britain.

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has survived an attempted coup last month by foreign fighters in eastern Syria, The Jerusalem Post reported.

In December 2017, Iraq officially declared the end of the war against Daesh*, and one year later US President Donald Trump announced that American troops had managed to defeat the terrorist organisation, noting that its remnants could be cleared out by regional forces.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, the coalition's deputy commander, described the size of the last IS pocket as "now less than 1 percent of the original caliphate".

The Observatory said suspected ISIS sleeper cells have allegedly assassinated at least 50 civilians and 135 SDF fighters in Kurdish-held territory since August.

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Bali said there could be up to 600 IS fighters still inside the pocket, a lot of them foreigners.

The WSJ report, citing USA officials, says that Washington and Ankara have "made little headway" on the Kurdish issue after a series of diplomatic cold shoulders, including John Bolton being personally snubbed by Turkish president Erdogan last month while Bolton was visiting Turkey for talks.

Alleged Islamic State (IS) group fighters who fled the Syrian village of Baghuz, near the Iraqi border, sit blindfolded in the back of a pickup truck after being taken into custody by SDF forces on January 30, 2019.

"We, as the SDF, think that dealing with and finishing off the Islamic State militarily was the easy step, but now comes the more challenging phase".

With hundreds of civilians fleeing this week before the SDF assault, it is unclear how many people remained in the town Saturday.

That announcement has seen the Kurds warn they may struggle to keep jihadists in jail, and pushed them to seek a new ally in the Damascus regime to prevent a long threatened Turkish offensive.

Earlier on Saturday, Isis militants attacked SDF fighters near an oil field in the country's east, triggering airstrikes by the US-led coalition.


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