U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia stopped a suicide attack by ISIS fighters, according to a Reuters report. Islamic State fighters planned a suicide attack early Wednesday, according to the report. However, U.S.-backed forces thwarted the attack and are ready to take back some of the last territory held by ISIS in Baghouz, Syria.
“There were suicide vest attacks by a group of bombers who tried to blow themselves up amidst our forces. Our forces targeted and killed them before they reached our positions,” Mustafa Bali, SDF spokesman, said in a statement to Reuters.
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with a delegation of foreign ministers at the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
“Our efforts have liberated more than 110,000 square kilometers of territory, freed more than 7 million men and women from tyranny, and allowed more than 4 million displaced people in Iraq to return home.” said Pompeo.
Pompeo highlighted many achievements in the fight against ISIS, but was also realistic about the future. Pompeo invited Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim to speak on the “decentralized jihad.” Al-Hakim called on member countries to collaborate in finding ISIS ‘sleeper cells’.
Taking Back Territory
What we know for sure is that the ISIS caliphate is losing ground. Years of war are in their final hours. Late last month, 40 trucks filled with civilians were seen leaving Baghouz, according to a Guardian report. SDF continued sending bus loads of people out of the territory ahead of the heated fight. According to the Guardian, SDF said around 30,000 locals fled.
On Monday, ISIS released a video pleading for support as times become more desperate and the caliphate begins its fall.