Tom Rollins worked as Editor-in-Chief at Syria Direct up until 2019. He previously worked as an independent journalist in Egypt and Lebanon, and has written for Al Jazeera English, IRIN and Mada Masr. His work focused on human rights, reconstruction and Palestinian refugees from Syria.
Seemingly endless lines of Islamic State fighters streamed out of the group’s last pocket, Baghouz, last weekend as US-backed fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces rendered the thin strip of riverbank into a surrealistic sea of empty tents and abandoned cars. By Saturday morning, defeat was finally announced.
Backed by warplanes from the US-led anti-IS coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advanced on a long-besieged pocket of territory held by fighters from the Islamic State (IS) in Baghouz from Monday night onwards, seizing a threadbare landscape of tents and abandoned vehicles that represents the hardline Islamist group’s last remaining foothold in Syria.