Trucks carrying women, children leave Daesh Syria holdout

More Than 300 ISIS Militants Refuse To Surrender To US-Backed Syrian Forces, Try To Negotiate Exit

More than 300 Islamic State militants who are holed up in a tiny area in eastern Syria are refusing to surrender to USA -backed Syrian forces and are trying to negotiate an exit.

USA -backed forces are one step closer to liberating the last patch of Syrian territory held by the Islamic State terror group, but officials say reports that the remaining militants have surrendered are premature.

Backed by air strikes by a US-led coalition, the SDF have trapped ISIS fighters in less than half a square kilometer (0.2 square miles) in Baghouz.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces attacking ISIS have an obligation under worldwide law to take all precautions to protect civilians who are mixed in with the foreign fighters, her spokesman Rupert Colville told a briefing.

Food and water have been running out in the pocket, where some 300 IS militants along with hundreds of civilians - believed to be mostly their families - have been under siege for more than a week by US-backed forces.

Afrin said the departures from IS-held territory on Tuesday were the first by civilians in four days.

Almost 20,000 civilians had left the shrinking area in recent weeks before the evacuation halted last week when the militants closed all the roads out of the tiny area.

More than 300 Islamic State militants are trying to negotiate an exit after refusing to surrender after USA -backed forces surrounded them.

A United Nations official said Tuesday she is concerned about the condition of the some 200 families trapped in the last remaining area held by IS.

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Mr Omar said: "It seems most of the countries have decided that they're done with them, let's leave them here, but this is a very big mistake".

"There are many civilians inside, regrettably", said Mustafa Bali, spokesman for the SDF said.

Trucks entered Baghouz to evacuate remaining civilians on Tuesday, Reuters quoted an SDF source as saying.

After years of battling ISIS, the SDF hold hundreds of foreigners suspected of being ISIS fighters, as well as related women and children.

Beyond Baghouz, Daesh still has thousands of fighters and sleeper cells scattered across several countries. Bali said a record of those evacuated would be made available later.

We'll publish the results of the poll in the next few days.

At least 200 families are still trapped in the last stronghold of the Islamic State (SI, ex Isis) in Syria, which could be used as "human shields" by the jihadists to reject the Arab-Kurdish offensive.

US President Donald Trump stunned allies in December when he announced all 2,000 US troops would withdraw from Syria as IS had been defeated.

The opposition's Syrian Civil Defense said the shelling killed five people including two children and also wounded five others. The presence of civilians and possibly senior members of the militant group in Baghouz have slowed the group's defeat.

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