US-backed fighters make ‘modest advances’ into last Islamic State enclave in Syria – SDF

US-backed fighters are moving slowly into the final pocket of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in eastern Syria to avoid losses in the face of sniper fire and landmines, according to commanders. Warplanes flew above Baghouz, a cluster of houses on the banks of the Euphrates at the Iraqi border where IS fighters still hold out, Reuters reported. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has made “modest advances” since resuming its assault late on Sunday, said Adnan Afrin, a senior commander in the US-backed militia. SDF military operations continued on Monday along with coalition airstrikes. Afrin said advances were slow because the SDF wanted to complete the campaign with minimal losses.