Hundreds more leave Syria IS holdout: AFP reporter

Hundreds more leave Syria IS holdout: AFP reporter

Hundreds more leave Syria IS holdout: AFP reporter

More than 46 trucks crammed with men, women and children, approached an SDF outpost, 20km north of the jihadist redoubt, AFP reported.

One vehicle was packed with women clad in black and men who covered their faces.

Their accounts of the makeshift camp in Baghouz where the SDF says around 5,000 people remain describe a death trap of disease and starvation.

The evacuees arrived in over 40 trucks used for transporting sheep from Baghouz, where about 300 IS fighters are believed to be holed up with civilians in a dramatic final showdown.

Earlier on Monday, SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali, said thousands remained inside the Daesh pocket.

People coming from Baghouz in recent days have shown more open loyalty to IS than those who left earlier on, according to a volunteer medic at the checkpoint where they are subjected to preliminary security screening.

She was wounded six months ago when a shell crashed into her home in Al-Shaafa, one of the last jihadist bastions taken by the SDF.

"We want it to be over", one of them, 29-year-old Mazloum, told AFP.

"Every time we got to a place, there were airstrikes and we had to leave", she said, explaining she had been on the move from Iraq's Anbar province into Baghouz as IS militants retreated.

Kurdish foreign affairs official Omar did not confirm the transfer, and denied the SDF was responsible.

"The US attitude towards regions of northeastern Syria is clear, and it is contributing to the complete elimination of the terrorist organization", Roebuck said.

Beyond Baghouz, IS still has thousands of fighters and sleeper cells across several countries.

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In Syria, it retains a presence in the vast Badia desert, and the jihadists have claimed deadly attacks in SDF-held territory.

Thousands of suspected Daesh fighters have attempted to blend in with civilians fleeing the crumbling "caliphate".

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said among the people who left Baghuz on Monday are some 120 members of Islamic State who turned themselves in to SDF.

The SDF screens those exiting at an outpost outside the village in an attempt to weed out potential IS fighters.

The Observatory on Monday said that 1,400 people, mainly IS relatives, were secretly transported from orchards on the outskirts of Baghouz to neighbouring Iraq over the past 24 hours.

The Kurdish foreign affairs official added that worldwide aid organisations were only meeting around five percent of the camp's needs.

He said that the Iraqi authorities will scrutinize all the people who have been received from Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The number handed over until now represents just a portion of the "large number" of IS fighters in the custody of the SDF, said officials, who added that the captives include more than 500 Iraqis.

Two Iraqi military sources told Reuters on Sunday that the USA -backed SDF handed over 14 French and six non-Iraqi Arab Islamic detainees last week.

The mass outpouring of men, women and children from the small strip of land has overwhelmed Kurdish-run displacement camps, especially Hol camp.

Bali said the number of people leaving the pocket has been "surprising".

Arrivals of around 7,000 people over the past week have bought al-Hol's population to over 45,000, the International Rescue Committee said.

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