The US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian forces were locked in fierce fighting on Sunday in their final push to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in its last pocket it holds in eastern Syria
The group overcame large parts of the country and neighboring Iraq in 2014, but various military offensives have reduced that territory to a patch on the Iraqi border
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition, announced a final push to retake the pocket in the village of Baghouz late on Saturday
The announcement came after a pause of more than a week to allow some 20,000 civilians to flee , according to SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali
An SDF field commander said the fighting was ongoing on Sunday morning
"There are heavy clashes at the moment. has progressed, "he told the AFP news agency
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), and UK-based war monitor, said coalition planes and artillery bombarded ISIL positions
"The battle is ongoing. There were heavy clashes this morning with landmines going off, "said SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman.
Backed by air raids by the US-led coalition against ISIL, the Kurdish-Arab alliance has in recent months cornered the remaining ISIL fighters in the final patch of territory in the eastern province of Deir Az Zor
The Kurdish-led alliance has since begun the ISIL-held territory to a scrap of just 4sq km on the eastern banks of the Euphrates.
On Saturday, Bali said he expected the battle for the last patch of territory held by ISIL to be over in
On Wednesday, the US President Donald Trump had predicted the ISIL
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump had predicted the ISIL would lose all the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria by "next week"
In December, Trump had announced the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria in a surprise move, saying ISIL had been defeated
Syria's Kurds have largely stayed out of the country
While the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been a key US ally in the fight against ISIL, Turkey views them as "terrorists". [1