#AceNewsReport – Mar.11: A CNN team in Syria witnessed airstrikes, explosions and mortar fire in Baghouz after the operation by the Syrian Defense Forces began about 6 pm local time: SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said on Twitter Sunday that its forces were engaged in “direct violent clashes” and that its planes were targeting weapons depots.
Earlier Sunday, Bali tweeted that “the timeline … for ISIS to surrender themselves is over” and that SDF forces were ready to “finish what is left in ISIS hands.”
At its height, ISIS controlled huge swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq: The US-led coalition has been working for years to oust the group from cities and towns: It was not clear Sunday how many fighters and civilians remained in the half-mile-square pocket under ISIS control in Baghouz.
Before the recent offensive started last month, SDF officials estimated that 1,500 civilians and 500 ISIS fighters remained, but as the assault got under way it became clear that the actual number was much higher: On Tuesday about 500 ISIS fighters surrendered to SDF forces. The militants were among a wave of people fleeing fighting in the village, near the Iraqi border, which has been pummeled by US-led coalition airstrikes in recent weeks.
Syria: medical and rescue centers were targeted at least 8 times tonight by SyAF in town of Saraqeb. 3 of them are damaged. Just 6 days ago Al-Hayat Hospital hit tonight gave birth to triplet #Syria https://syria.liveuamap.com/en/2019/9-march-syria-medical-and-rescue-centers-were-targeted-at – CNN’s Kareem Khadder, Scott McWhinnie and Adam Dobby contributed to this report Published: March.11:2019: