At Baghuz, nearly 500 Islamic State’s fighters are under fire of the Arab-Kurdish coalition. Since Saturday, the assault has been launched against the last confined Jihadists in a “final battle”.
Islamic State’s territory should be liquidated in a few days. The Arab-Kurdish coalition of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) supported by the Westerners launched the final offensive against the last Isis forces, grouped in the Baghuz village, at the Syrian-Kurdish border. The US president, Donald Trump, predicted on Wednesday that Isis will have lost all of its territory by next week. And the SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali declared “The decisive battle began tonight to finish what remains of Daesh terrorists”. But he did not say how long they expect the battle to last.
Islamic State territory now accounts for less than 1% of the caliphate, self-proclaimed in 2014. U.S. officials have said in recent weeks that Isis has lost 99.5% of its territory. The last 500 jihadist fighters are localized in a very small village of about 4 squares kilometers. The fighting was intense this weekend, with American air support. Some 37 000 people have fled the area since December, mainly from Isis families, but also about 3 400 jihadists who have surrendered.
The terrorist threat persists
Even if the Isis organization used to plan attacks from its Syrian base, the Islamic State liquidation is not the end of the terrorist threat. Indeed, in Western, Africa or Asia, the organization retains an ideological mobilization capacity. It is estimated it has relays and sleeping cells in about thirty countries. The US military has warned the group could stage a comeback if the military and counter terrorism pressure on it is eased.
The SDF require Western countries to recover their nationals, which is controversial for some people, who fear that they will be quickly released. Nearly 150 prisoners should be brought back soon by plane, in a combined Franco-American operation.
Lucas Bennoui, IEJ2C
3 pm local time, New York. It’s a quiet afternoon in the Manhattan district, for the few strollers strolling near the Hudson River before the terrible attack which hit the United States on October 31. An Uzbek aged 29, in connection with the ISIS would be at the origin of this attack, killing 8 people and injuring 12. The protagonist, driving a pick-up truck hit several cyclists and violently hit them. When he ended his run by hitting a school bus, he ran away yelling “Allah Akbar”. He was carrying two handguns and was finally neutralized by the police, putting an end to this bloody race. Having never been investigated by the Federal Police, the author of this drama was employed by Uber. He apparently premeditated his attack a few weeks before. According to several American media, he had been living on the territory for about ten years with his wife and children. At the scene of the attack, the police discovered a letter in which he praised the ISIS. Among the victims were five Argentinian tourists and a Belgian woman. Two Americans also lost their lives in this tragedy. President Donald Trump has called for stronger control of foreigners, and has demanded the abolition of the green card lottery allowing a foreigner to work in the United States, which the jihadists could benefit from.
Solène Vigouroux, 3E1