February 21, 2019 / 12:51 PM / 4 months ago

Civilians did not leave last IS Syria pocket - SDF official

Fighters from Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk near a convoy of trucks near the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said/File Photo

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Remaining civilians in Islamic State’s last pocket in eastern Syria did not leave on Thursday despite earlier expectations they would, said an official in the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, after trucks sent for them came back empty.

The SDF will continue efforts to evacuate the remaining civilians said the spokesman, Mustafa Bali, a move it has said is required before it can conduct a military operation against the jihadists left there.

Reporting by Tom Perry, writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Gareth Jones

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