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The U.S. -backed SDF began their final assault on the last remnant of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate late Friday, surrounding the village of Baghuz with about 15,000 troops and with the backing of U.S. and coalition airpower.

Mostafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, said that among some 6,500 people fleeing since Monday after the SDF opened a corridor for them to flee, hundreds of jihadists had surrendered.

A coalition official told VOA Monday that the SDF was "working diligently" to get any remaining civilians out of harms way, but admitted the number of civilians still hiding with IS fighters or being held against their will, was not known. ISIS is an alternative acronym for the extremist group.

IS seized large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, declaring a "caliphate" there, but have since lost all but a patch on the banks of the Euphrates River in Baghouz.

IS claimed a January 16 attack on a restaurant in downtown Manbij, in Syria's north, which killed two U.S. service members along with one Department of Defense civilian and a contractor. Associated Press journalists positioned across from the ISIS-held pocket saw lines of pickup trucks, motorcycles and people walking on foot, in what appeared to be a group evacuating.

Loubna, 30 from the Syrian town of al-Bab, said there were many bodies on the streets in the IS-held area, burned by a fire in an ammunition depot on the edge of the camp was ignited over the weekend by a coalition airstrike.

Lewla Abdullah, an SDF official, said at least three auto bombs had been deployed in the campaign, and at least four SDF fighters and more than 100 IS fighters were killed since Friday.

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Many former national security officials also signed onto a statement that publicly rebuked the emergency declaration on Monday. The resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration appeared to clinch the 51 votes needed to pass the Senate when Sen.

Meanwhile, a Red Cross official said the weak and fragile services at the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, which has been in recent weeks inundated with civilians and ISIL fighters fleeing from Baghouz, are on "the brink of collapse".

The new arrivals have pushed the camp's population to over 56,000, exacerbating already dire conditions at the crammed facility, it said.

Thousands of people have streamed out of Baghouz in the last few days under a stepped-up assault by the USA -led coalition and their ground partners.

After months under heavy bombardment and sometimes with very little to eat, families emerging from Baghouz are often in poor physical and psychological health.

"Everything happens outdoors, there are no houses anymore, everybody lives outside, which is not surprising because we were being bombarded day and night", she said.

He said several thousand mainly women and children arrive daily and there is "no end in sight".

Syria's war has killed 360,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.


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