In this Sunday, March 17, 2019, photo, the Islamic State group's last pocket of territory in Baghouz, Syria, as seen from a distance. On Tuesday, a spokesman for U.S.-backed forces fighting IS in Syria says his fighters are in control of an encampment in the village of Baghouz where IS militants have been besieged for months. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

US-backed Syrian fighters search tunnels in last IS pocket

March 20, 2019 - 9:27 am

BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — U.S.-backed Syrian forces are conducting search operations in tunnels a day after seizing an encampment where Islamic State militants had been making their last stand in Syria.

Ciyager Amed, an official with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, says they are searching for any IS militants still hiding in tunnels in a riverside pocket in the village of Baghouz.

Associated Press journalists saw SDF soldiers loading women and children into trailer trucks on the hilltop over Baghouz, in a sign evacuations were ongoing Wednesday. Black smoke could be seen rising from a part of the village.

U.S.-backed Syrian forces on Tuesday seized control of the encampment held by IS after hundreds of militants surrendered overnight, signaling the group's collapse after months of stiff resistance.

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