Thousands of ISIS troops surrender amid attack on final stronghold in Syria

13 MAR 19 02:05 ET

(CNN) — More than 3,000 ISIS fighters have surrendered amid a pitched battle by US-backed forces to retake the last ISIS stronghold in Syria.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Mustafa Bali claimed by Tuesday evening the number of ISIS members who had laid down arms had “risen to 3,000.”

Bali added that three Yazidi women and four children had been rescued as well.

It comes amid a heavy fighting in the Syrian town of Baghouz, the last bit of territory in Syria and Iraq claimed by the Islamic State.

A CNN team in Syria witnessed intense shelling of the town throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, but so far the SDF have resisted providing details as to how they expect the remaining ISIS fighter to hold out.

In a statement on Twitter Tuesday, Bali said the “decisive moment is closer than ever before.” He claimed the ISIS fighters in the city were “surrendering en masse.”

Earlier in the day, the spokesman had claimed two weapons depots had been destroyed in the attacks, which killed 38 ISIS combatants.

At its height, ISIS controlled huge swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. The US-led coalition has been working for years to oust the group from cities and towns.

Before the recent attack began in February, SDF officials estimated that 1,500 civilians and 500 ISIS fighters remained but after the battle began it became clear that the actual number was much higher.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Update from the Bahamas as heard on the Morning Drive

Update from the Bahamas as heard on the Morning Drive

Kimberly Mullings reporting from Freeport, Bahamas described the surreal conditions wrought by Hurricane Dorian on Grand Bahama Island. She told Jillian and John about “seeing people leaving literally in their underwear trying to seek shelter … Some people have three story homes and they had to hang out in their attics for over 24 hours.…Continue Reading

West Texas gunman was fired from job hours before massacre.

West Texas gunman was fired from job hours before massacre.

By Faith Karimi, Ed Lavandera and Christina Maxouris, CNN The 36-year-old gunman who left seven people dead in a West Texas killing rampage had been fired from his job hours before the massacre began, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed officials. CNN is working to learn more details, but authorities have repeatedly cautioned that they have yet…Continue Reading