After repeated predictions of an imminent victory in Syria, the White House on Friday declared total victory over ISIS
in the battle for Baghouz, presenting it as the culmination of what was
supposed to be a several day battle, but actually has lasted nearly
This follows fighting over the past several days during which the Kurdish SDF had made some inroads into the village. Despite that, and despite the declaration of victory, the SDF confirmed that heavy fighting is ongoing against ISIS in the area.
The SDF is trying to offer at least some lip-service to the idea of an imminent victory, of course, terming its operations to be aimed at finishing off remnant. Yet the mopping up stage has been ongoing, by all accounts, for weeks now.
Baghouz was supposed to be a minor target, a tiny village with a small population of ISIS fighters and a very limited number of civilians. Yet tens of thousands of civilians have poured out of the village since, and thousands of fighters have been killed. Even if some territory has fallen, it is clear neither the US, nor the SDF, has great intelligence on who remains on the ground there.
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