AMUDA, Syria – Pummeled by modern American weapons, ISIS has been reduced to a single city – Baghoz. Now the cruel caliphate is surrounded by members of the Syrian defense force – predominantly Kurds – who say there are only days left. Brave, but light on equipment, they are heavily dependent on the United States
Fox News rarely got access to the front line – to see the final stand.
It is a long and hard road to the far east of the country – through territory still attacked by ISIS sleeping cells. After three days on the road, when we first traveled west from Iraq and south through Syria, we finally reached an SDF base in the Omar oil fields in what was once an ISIS heartland.
US. forces are everywhere here. You catch glimpses of those moving around, on the front line and in forward bases. American mortar, intelligence, artillery and airstrikes are the reason why the territorial caliphate was destroyed so quickly.
In a US base, Fox News saw hundreds of troops and dozens of American armored vehicles ̵
The following day in an SDF Humvee, we slowly pushed forward to the battlefield, rattling down rain and mud.
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ISIS had years to dig into these cities, crossing them with tunnels and throwing them with IEDs. It has left the country wiped out. For miles there is nothing but dead bodies and ruins.
ISIS now has just over one square kilometer of land with about 1,500 to 2,000 fighters. The faithful who remain are mostly foreign warriors unable to interfere with the local population, and they make their final stand.
In their highest, ISIS controlled about 40,000 square kilometers, roughly an area that was the size of Kentucky. They had 65,000 warriors and ruled over 8 million people. Today, all this is gone.
When President Trump joined, he told the military to take out the gloves against ISIS. Looking at the extent of American artillery and air force here, it is clear that they have just done so.
Outside the last village far in the desert at the Iraqi border, some ISIS warriors are still trying to escape and hope to fight another day. Hidden among families, they fly into the surrounding desert, where they are celebrated by the Kurds.
We see as thousands of men, women and children coming out of the desert flying the besieged battles. They are divided into men, women and children – and then the hunt for finding out which ISIS is. Many admit to being members of the terrorist group, but say they were just cookers and cleaning assistants – they never wanted to attend, but had no choice and never fought. SDF forces rarely believe in them.
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Among them: ISIS brides. Most claim that they were forced to attend their husbands. But their claim is very doubtful.
Their children have participated in ISIS schools, indoctrinated from a young age, some have lived under the caliphate for five years. They are known as caliphat's kids – this is a worrying sign for the future – and the big question here is what to do with them.
Although ISIS may soon be defeated as a territorial force – what we have seen is an indication that many remain.
Arabian villages nearby are non-walking zones and there are approx. 20,000 ISIS followers still looking. Fox News learned a few days ago that the surrounding warriors had asked for safe passage to Turkey in exchange for a ceasefire – SDF said no. They want these battle-hardened fighters to finish, and now.
It's geopolitical that also raises big questions. As the caliphate falls and the US pulls out – as President Trump has suggested, he will do – it is expected that the Turks will move down their border and attack the Kurds as they see terrorists.
And then, without US support, the Kurds say they have no way of talking to the Assad regime – they think that is the only way they stay safe without the US And as if repeating the point Just a mile from where we are, south of the front lines, the regime forces await with Iranian militias – moving in when the US leaves.
The Kurds hope they can trust the United States to offer continued support, and they urge the president to rethink his decision to leave. They insist that they have been long and trusted allies in the United States, fought with them on several occasions and lost thousands of men.
They also call on President Trump not to make the same mistake made by President Obama, saying he left Iraq before the job was done – and handed the country over to Iran.
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When we leave Syria, crossing the Euphrates back to Iraq is the feeling that everything we & # 39; I witness the end of a chapter. And there are many more to come.