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    A French soldier engaged in the Operation Chammal, the French military operation within Operation Inherent Resolve, the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group, stands guard by three wheeled 155 mm gun-howitzer CAESAR systems (trucks equipped with an artillery system) on February 9, 2019, near Al-Qaim, a few kilometres away from the last scrap of territory held by IS in eastern Syria

    Pompeo: US-Led Coalition ‘Hours Away’ From Taking Last Daesh Stronghold in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / Daphné BENOIT
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US-led coalition fighting against Daesh is close to capturing the terrorists’ last stronghold in Syria, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

    "We could be hours away from taking away the last square inch of [Daesh]-controlled territory in Syria, now liberated millions of people in Iraq and Syria," Pompeo said during an interview on Fox Business Network.

    Earlier in February, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the coalition, announced the start of an operation to liberate the eastern Syrian village of Baghuz, which is the last settlement held by Daesh in Syria.

    Pompeo also said the US decision to withdraw all troops from the Middle Eastern country remains, adding "We’re now literally on the doorstep."

    President Donald Trump announced in December that the United States would leave Syria. However, no exact deadline for the return of 2,000 troops has been revealed by US officials yet.

    READ MORE: Nothing Can Stop Ex-Daesh From Returning to Germany If They're Citizens — Prof

    The US troops have been operating in Syria as part of an international coalition for about five years without the permission of Syrian authorities or the UN Security Council. The United States has, in particular, supported the Kurdish-led militia controlling the territories to the east of the Euphrates and opposing the Syrian government.

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    US-led coalition, Daesh, Pompeo, United States, Syria
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