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IS captures 200 families in the last fortress in Syria



  Civilians fleeing from the last ISIS-held area in Syria near Baghuz village (14 February 2019)

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AFP

Caption

About 20,000 people are from Baghuz escaped In the last few weeks were taken to a camp

The United Nations has expressed its concerns about the fate of some 200 families reportedly trapped in the last tiny area of ​​Syria, still held by the Islamic State group.

Human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the many women and children in Baghuz seem to have been actively prevented from leaving the country by ISIS fighters.

They were also exposed to fierce bombardments by US-led coalition forces and allied Syrian fighters.

Ms. Bachelet demanded that the refugees should be offered a safe passage. 1

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"Those who want to stay must also be protected as much as possible," she added. "They should not be sacrificed to ideology on the one hand or military expediency on the other.

" If the protection of civilian life means it still takes a few days to complete the last fraction of [IS] conquered land, then it is. "

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Reuters

Caption

Fighters of the IS are reportedly confined to tents pitched on a network of tunnels and caves

Five years ago, IS controlled an area of ​​88,000 square kilometers, stretching from western Syria to eastern Iraq, proclaiming the creation of a "caliphate", forcing its brutal rule on nearly eight million people and generating billions of dollars Dollars of oil, blackmail, robbery and kidnapping.

In Baghuz, a small village in the Middle Euphrates Valley near the Euphrates Valley, approximately 300 militants and hundreds of civilians are within approximately 0.5 km² of land surrounding Iraq.

Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an offensive to capture Baghuz on 9 February.

On Monday, unconfirmed reports indicated that IS militants wanted to negotiate a safe passage to the opposition's north-western province of Idlib.

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There was no confirmation from the SDF. One speaker seemed to dismiss such an idea on Tuesday, insisting that the militants had "only two options – either give up or be killed in battle".

"We are working to close civilians and evacuate and then we will attack. This could happen soon," quoted the AFP news agency "Mustafa Bali."

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AFP

Caption

US-backed SDF fighters launched an attack on Baghuz this month

Although no Baghuz civilians reportedly came out in the past three days, around 20,000 people have been sent by the SDF to a makeshift camp for displaced persons in al-Hol, Hassakeh Province in recent weeks.

Among them are the wives and children of IS militants and many foreigners, including British teenager Shamima Begum, who was 15 years old when she ran away from her home four years ago to join the IS.

The International Rescue Committee said on Monday, at least 62 people had died en route to al-Hol, two-thirds of whom were children under one year old. Fatigue and malnutrition were the main causes of death.

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Ms. Bachelet also said she was alarmed by a riot in attacks and civilian casualties in Idlib province, where Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a takeover of a jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaida in September put at risk a ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Russia.

The Syrian bombing of a demilitarized buffer zone by the government, which runs along the front in Idlib and in areas north of Hama and west of Aleppo, began to escalate in December and has worsened in recent days, according to the UN ,

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At the same time, there was an increase in fighting between rebel and jihad factions and also the use of improvised explosive devices in areas under their control.

At least 16 Mi Vilians, including women and children, were reportedly killed by two bomb blasts in the Qusour district of Idlib city on Monday. The second explosion was apparently meant to kill people, including medical professionals, who were trying to get to the victims of first aid.

Another nine civilians, including four women and two boys, are reported to have been killed by government strikes on Khan Sheikhoun on Friday and Saturday.

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