BAGHOUZ, Syria -- The caliphate has crumbled, and the final offensive is over. While the official announcement hasn’t yet been made – Fox News has been told that this village, the last stronghold, is liberated.
It’s the first time since we’ve been here in for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone.
Troops here are now bringing down the black flags of ISIS. The flags no longer fly over the town, instilling fear.
The last five days, Fox News has witnessed the last major offensive up close -– with U.S.-backed SDF forces attacking ISIS from three sides, pushing the fighters back, house to house, then tent to tent, against the Euphrates River.
Inside Baghouz, it’s easy to see how they hid for so long – not just in tunnels but trenches and hundreds of cubby holes covered by tarpaulins, which blend in perfectly to the dirt.
In the end, the majority surrendered. In fact, since the start of the year about 60,000 have dripped into the desert, and most are now held in camps.