Syrian army attacks Islamic State targets in desert

ISIS Uses ‘Human Shields’ To Stall US-Backed-Forces Final Push

In the years since its peak, the group's annual revenue has more than halved: from up to $1.9 billion in 2014 to a maximum of $870 million in 2016, according to a recent report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College London.

Kurdish forces slowed down their attack on Baghouz Sunday night, concerned for the civilians that remain in the area that were being used as "human shields" according to a tweet from Mustapha Bali, the head of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) press office. It charged that the USA -affiliated rebels extort money from those who want to leave.

Hundreds of Islamic State militants have surrendered as they left the group's last enclave in eastern Syria amid more than 6,500 people, mostly civilians, who were evacuated in the last 24 hours, a spokesman for the us -backed Syrian force battling the jihadists said on Tuesday.

The Trump administration opened critical talks with Russian Federation and Turkey on the future of Syria on Monday, seeking to coordinate plans after the long-awaited defeat of the Islamic State and President Trump's planned drawdown of US forces.

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Another woman in her mid-20s who identified herself as Reem from the central Syrian province of Hama, said she was waiting for her husband to come out of an IS-controlled jail. Fabien Clain was killed in a strike by the USA -led military coalition in Syria in February.

"I haven't seen him since and don't know where he is, " Reem said, adding that she asked repeatedly for his whereabouts before she eventually chose to leave.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been laying siege to ISIS's last enclave east of the Euphrates, the village of Baghouz, for several weeks. One woman covered in black flashed a victory sign as she left.

They were then whisked off to a camp for displaced persons to the north, while suspected fighters were moved to detention facilities. IS militants desperately fought back with snipers, auto bombs and other weapons trying to slow the SDF advance.

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Bali said a large number among those who left Monday were IS fighters who "surrendered to our forces".

Prominent French jihadist Jean-Michel Clain was killed last month, his wife told AFP Tuesday after fleeing the last redoubt of the Islamic State group in eastern Syria.

It was not possible to independently verify the number and SDF officials also said it was hard to estimate how many people were left.

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