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Last stand in Syria for fighters of so-called Islamic State

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AFP, Reuters
Last stand in Syria for fighters of so-called Islamic State

The US backed rebel force in eastern Syria which is leading the assault on so-called Islamic State (IS) says its last piece of territory will fall "in a very short time"

Jiya Furat, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also told reporters on Saturday that it had cornered the last remaining IS fighters in one small neighbourhood of Baghouz village, under its fire from all sides.

On Friday US President Donald Trump promised imminent announcements on the end of the IS "caliphate".

But the SDF says they are encountering more civilians than expected and this is slowing their advance down. They're mainly the wives and children of Syrian and foreign jihadists.

"This is a major surprise for us," Adnane Afrine, an SDF spokesman told AFP.

US military spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan said some of the civilians fleeing report that some of them were being used as human shields by the IS fighters.

When it falls IS's physical caliphate - which was once the size of the UK - will be conquered but the ideology itself will not have been defeated.

In fact there are multiple reports that IS is re-grouping in parts of neighbouring Iraq.