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The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fired on ISIS terrorists on February 8 ahead of a planned assault on the terrorists' last enclave on February 9 in the part of Syria where a USA -backed coalition has been supporting operations against the group.

Mustafa Bali said the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces made the advances early on Sunday, hours after they launched a final push to clear the area from IS militants on Saturday night.

An SDF statement said the offensive was focused on the village of Baghuz.

At its peak, ISIS held large swaths of Iraq and Syria - an expanse about the size of Portugal.

Civilians who have fled fighting in Bagouz wait to board trucks after being screened by members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a makeshift screening point in the desert on Saturday in Bagouz, Syria.

"I suggested to my United States counterpart, Mike Pompeo, the idea of establishing a joint task force to coordinate the USA withdrawal from Syria, and he agreed to my proposal", said the minister.

US-backed forces were locked in fierce fighting as they pressed the battle against the last shred of the ISIS group's "caliphate" in eastern Syria yesterday, according to a war monitor.

ISIS once controlled swathes of territory across Iraq and Syria that straddled their shared border and stretched over more than a third of both countries.

SDF fighters are advancing with support from coalition air strikes and artillery located across the border in Iraq.

According to Reuters, the USA said on January 29 that ISIS was expected to lose the final chunk of territory within a couple of weeks.

Earlier in the day, a war monitor reported that negotiations are underway in eastern Syria between the US -led forces and the IS group for the latter's withdrawal from its last redoubt.

Under the working military plans, the USA would pull all troops out in the coming weeks - including about 200 Americans working out of a base in southern Syria [al-Tanf] that has served as an informal check on Iran's expansionist ambitions in the region, the current and former US officials said. But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq, and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency.

Remaining in an area of fields and farmhouses less than a few square kilometres are up to 600 ISIS fighters and their families, many of them foreigners.

The SDF, backed by USA air power, has driven IS from large swaths of territory it once controlled in northern and eastern Syria, confining the extremists to a small pocket of land near the border with Iraq.

As the SDF closed in, there were reports that two Canadian women and their children who had been living in the ISIS-controlled area had surrendered to the US -backed forces, CNN and CBC reported Sunday.


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