The wife of French jihadist Jean-Michel Clain told AFP Tuesday in Syria that her husband was killed last month after a coalition strike killed his brother Fabien, another notorious jihadist.
Hundreds of people including IS fighters evacuated their last foothold in eastern Syria hours after USA -backed Syrian fighters said they were forced to slow their advance because the extremists are using civilians as human shields.
The new exodus came only three days after the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces resumed military operations against the militants holed up in Baghouz, a village on the banks of the Euphrates River close to the Iraqi border. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!
"I would characterize the number of IS fighters now in SDF custody as thousands", Navy Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement, referring to the IS.
Angry civilians evacuating from the last shred of territory held by Islamic State militants in Syria praised the extremist group Wednesday and chanted "Islamic State will remain", underscoring the defiance of IS fighters and their supporters even as their defeat looms.
Thousands of people have streamed out of Baghouz in the last few days under a stepped-up assault by the USA -led coalition and their ground partners.
Bali said a large number among those who left Monday were IS fighters who "surrendered to our forces".
Around 15,000 people reached the Al-Hol camp from Baghouz between February 22 and March 1, the United Nations humanitarian coordination office OCHA said on Monday.
After months under heavy bombardment and sometimes with very little to eat, many of those emerging from Baghouz are in poor physical and psychological health. The camp now holds at least 45,000 people, according to Jens Laerke, spokesman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who said many people had arrived exhausted, hungry and sick.
The war is in its final days, officials say.
This latest move comes as fighting continues to take place between SDF forces, flanked by fighter jets from the US-led coalition, and IS militants in eastern Syria.
The outpouring of people on Monday follows a standoff between US-backed forces and the remaining ISIS fighters over the weekend, with a torrent of airstrikes and artillery attacks.