The US-backed Syrian forces captured 41 positions held by Islamic State group militants and destroyed their fortifications in the last tiny pocket they hold in eastern Syria amid fierce fighting, a spokesman said Sunday.
Mustafa Bali said the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces made the advances overnight and on Sunday, hours after they launched a final push to clear the area from IS militants Saturday night.
Bali said heavy fighting was going on inside Baghouz on Sunday, adding that an IS counterattack was foiled early in the day. He did not say how long the battle was expected to last.
The US-led coalition warplanes are giving cover to advancing SDF fighters.
The US officials have said in recent weeks that IS has lost 99.5 per cent of its territory and is holding onto fewer than 5 square kilometers in Syria, or less than 2 square miles, where the bulk of the fighters are concentrated.
But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq, and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency.
The US military has warned the group could stage a comeback if the military and counter-terrorism pressure on it is eased.
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