Issue Brief on “War in Syria: The Final Push Against the Islamic State”


On 10 February, 2019, in an attempt to make one final stand in the Syrian town of Baghuz, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), commenced on a last offensive to drive out the Islamic State (IS) from its only remaining commune in Syria.[1]

Even though the battle’s first 24 hours saw little fighting from IS militia, the latter soon took to suicide attacks to obstruct the progress of the US-backed forces. There are an estimated 1,000 IS fighters inside the enclave who are refusing to surrender.[2]

On December 19, 2018, President Trump tweeted his intentions to withdraw the 2,000[3]  US troops from Syria. This decision is a sharp regression from previously stated US policy and hence, surprised both domestic lawmakers,  as well as foreign allies.

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