Deir al-Zor Province, Syria — A mass grave found in territory recently seized by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) contains bodies of dozens of people including many women, an SDF official said on Thursday. The SDF is poised to wipe out the last vestige of IS’s territorial rule at the besieged village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border. But the operation has been held up as the SDF seeks to evacuate thousands of civilians. “We will announce the complete victory over Daesh [IS] in a week,” SDF commander-in-chief Mazloum Kobani said in a video released by the SDF on Thursday, speaking during a meeting with a group of SDF fighters freed from IS captivity. It was not immediately clear when the video was filmed. The SDF announced on Thursday it has freed 24 of its fighters from the jihadist group. The IS enclave at Baghouz, a tiny area on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, is the last populated territory held by the jihadists, who have been steadily driven by an array of e...

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