US-Backed Kurds Shocked by ‘Never-Ending’ Numbers in Syria’s Last ISIS Village

Thousands more civilians believed to be in tiny village

Kurdish officials from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have believed they were mere days from conquering the village of Baghouz, the last ISIS-held village in Syria, for months now.

Despite constant upbeat progress on the fight, the SDF appears no closer to taking Baghouz than ever, with officials attributing the failure to the “never-ending” number of civilians that were somehow living within this tiny village, and which the Kurds wanted to evacuate before the final push.

The SDF conceded that they knew there would be some civilians in Baghouz, but that was tens of thousands of civilians ago. Most were underground, and there is no sign they’re anywhere near clear of the area.

12,000 came out of Baghouz to one camp in just a 48 hour span last week, and some of the civilians at the camp say that there are as many left in Baghouz as have left, all underground, pouring out in numbers.

Conservative estimates are that there will be thousands more. This is slowing the Baghouz offensive, but perhaps the bigger problem is that over 55,000 civilians have been displaced so far, and the remaining refugee camps are so over-filled and under-funded that there is no idea what they’re going to do with all those people.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.