The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared the territorial defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS).
The SDF “declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100% territorial defeat of ISIS,” Mustafa Bali, head of the force’s press office, announced on Twitter Saturday morning.
“On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible,” Bali added.
Some 8,000 fighters of the SDF, a Kurdish-led umbrella force of Kurds, Arabs, and Christians of northern Syria, died in the war against ISIS. In Iraq, more than 1,800 Peshmerga were killed battling the group. The Iraqi army has not released their official figures casualties, but it is believed to be in the thousands.
The bright yellow flag of the SDF billowed in the wind on Saturday over Baghouz, the eastern Syrian village where the final battle against ISIS happened. The force held a brief press conference in the village.