US-led coalition evacuates Daesh militants, families from last redoubt in eastern Syria
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US-led coalition evacuates Daesh militants, families from last redoubt in eastern Syria

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that more than 50 trucks belonging to the military alliance and covered tightly with tarps carried the terrorists along with their family members out of Baghouz village east of the Euphrates River on Wednesday. Informed sources, requesting not to be named, told the Britain-based monitoring group that US-led military helicopters were hovering in the skies over the area as the exit took place. The Observatory had earlier reported that negotiations were underway between the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Daesh remnants, with the latter demanding a safe passage to an unknown area believed to in the desert areas of Iraq’s western province of al-Anbar. The observatory has learnt that no agreement has been reached up until now. It announced on Saturday that SDF forces had captured Daesh’s last remaining enclave in eastern Syria. The monitoring group stated the last few hundred terrorists, many of them foreigners, had surrendered in the past two days to the US-backed forces. It said some militants may still be hiding in underground tunnels. Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA on Saturday that US-led military helicopters landed in Syria’s eastern provinces of Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr, and transported dozens of Takfiri commanders and militants to unknown locations following a deal. The sources added that the extremists, in return, directed the US-led forces to their caches of stolen gold east of Shaddadi town. The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes and operations against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations mandate. The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh. On February 12, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the rotating president of the Security Council, Anatolio Ndong Mba, denounced the coalition strikes conducted against Baghouz town a day earlier, saying the US-led warplanes had pounded a refugee camp. Local sources told state-run Ikhbariyah Syria television news network that 16 civilians, including seven children, were killed as a result of the raid. “This new crime is in line with the series of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which the US-led coalition has perpetrated against Syrian people, its continued support for terrorism, and its use of terrorists and separatist militia forces to advance its fiendish plots aimed at Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity,” said the letters. The ministry also called on the UN Security Council to stand up against such attacks and crimes. It also demanded that the Council assume its responsibilities regarding the establishment of international peace and security, conduct an international probe into these criminal acts, condemn them, and put an immediate halt to these air raids as well as the “aggressive” presence of US and other foreign military forces on the Syrian soil.

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