The Islamic State group has been reduced from its self-proclaimed caliphate that once spread across much of Syria and Iraq at its height in 2014 to a speck of land on the countries' shared border. In that tiny pocket on the banks of the river, the militants are hiding among civilians in the shadow of a small hill, encircled by forces waiting to declare the territorial defeat of the extremist group. Hundreds of Islamic State militants surrounded in a tiny area in eastern Syria are refusing to surrender and are trying to negotiate an exit, Syrian activists and a person close to the negotiations said.
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters stand outside a building used as a temporary base near the last land still held by Islamic State militants in Baghouz, Syria. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters enter a building used as a temporary base near the last land still held by Islamic State militants in Baghouz. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)