A pair of dusty villages in the Syrian desert is all that remains of the vast expanse of territory the Islamic State once called its caliphate, and the complete territorial defeat of the militant group appears to be imminent, according to U.S. and Kurdish officials.
A few hundred of the most die-hard Islamic State fighters are making their last stand in the villages of Marashida and Baghuz Fawqani on the banks of the Euphrates River, a few miles from the Iraqi border in southeastern Syria. With the Syrian army on the other side of the river, a group that once controlled an area the size of Britain is pinned down by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in a dot of land measuring six square miles.
It is now only a matter of weeks or even days before the villages are overrun and the Islamic State’s vaunted state-building enterprise in Syria and Iraq is brought to an end, military officials say.
Read the full article and more in The Washington Post.