Islamic State group defeated as final territory lost, US-backed forces say
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say the Islamic State group has lost its last bit of territory in Syria, bringing to an end its "caliphate". A spokesman for the SDF declared the "100% territorial defeat" of IS. The jihadist group once controlled 88,000 sq km (34,000 sq miles) of land stretching across Syria and Iraq. Despite the loss of territory, the group is still seen as a major security threat capable of mounting attacks in the region and worldwide. The Kurdish-led SDF alliance began its final assault on IS at the start of March, with the remaining militants holed up in the village of Baghuz in eastern Syria.
The alliance was forced to slow its offensive after it emerged that a large number of civilians were also there, sheltering in buildings, tents and tunnels.