U.S.-Allied Kurdish Forces Push Into Final ISIS-Held Territory

Smoke billows as U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fire on Islamic State militant positions in Baghouz, Syria, Monday, March 11, 2019.
Smoke billows as U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fire on Islamic State militant positions in Baghouz, Syria, Monday, March 11, 2019. Maya Alleruzzo / AP Photo
Smoke billows as U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fire on Islamic State militant positions in Baghouz, Syria, Monday, March 11, 2019.
Smoke billows as U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fire on Islamic State militant positions in Baghouz, Syria, Monday, March 11, 2019. Maya Alleruzzo / AP Photo

U.S.-Allied Kurdish Forces Push Into Final ISIS-Held Territory

The U.S.-allied and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched a push against the final Islamic-state held territory in Syria, the village of Baghouz in the east of the country. Prior to the final launch of the assault, hundreds of ISIS fighters surrendered to the SDF, and the SDF finally continued its assault yesterday on the remaining forces. The assault continues today, with ISIS fighting back largely through sniper attacks and landmines. If the SDF successfully takes Baghouz, ISIS will be driven out of the last of the territory it formally occupies — a dramatic shift from the pinnacle of its influence in 2015, when about 10 million people in Iraq and Syria fell under its administration. Joining us to discuss the push on Baghouz and its wider implications for the region is Morgan Kaplan, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Buffett Institute for Global Studies.