Final IS defeat looms as thousands leave last area in Syria

OUTSIDE BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — A spokesman for the U.S.-backed Syrian forces fighting the Islamic State group says thousands of people, including militants, have left the last area held by the extremists in Syria.

Mustafa Bali tweeted that about 3,000 came out of the village of Baghouz in eastern Syria on Monday through a humanitarian corridor established by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces for those who want to leave or surrender.

Bali says among those who left was a large number of IS fighters who “surrendered to our forces.”

The evacuations came as the U.S. backed forces slowed down their latest push on Baghouz, which resumed last week, to allow civilians to leave the tiny enclave.

It’s unclear how many IS militants and civilians remain inside, but the number is likely in the hundreds.

By Associated Press