US-backed Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State
(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters pose for a photo on a rooftop overlooking Baghouz, Syria, after the SDF declared the area free of Islamic State militants after months of fighting on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
(Baghouz, Syria) — A U.S.-backed Syrian force says it has liberated the last area held by the Islamic State group in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, declaring victory over the extremists and the end of their self-declared caliphate.
Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, tweeted that “Baghouz is free and the military victory against Daesh has been achieved,” referring to the group by its Arabic acronym.
Bali says the so-called caliphate, which once sprawled across much of Syria and neighboring Iraq, is gone, and pledged to continue the fight against remnants of the extremist group until they are completely eradicated.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has paid tribute to the international coalition and its allies after U.S.-backed forces declared military victory over the Islamic State group in Syria.
Macron tweeted that “a major danger to our country is now eliminated, yet the threat remains and the fight against terrorist groups must continue.”
He expressed condolences for the victims of IS.
France has been a member of the coalition fighting the IS since 2014.
IS claimed responsibility for several attacks in France, including assaults in Paris in 2015 that killed more than 130 people.