Thousands of people, including militants, have left the last area held by Daesh in Syria, with the UN saying hundreds more are expected to arrive at camps for the displaced on Tuesday alone.

Men suspected of being Daesh members wait to be searched by SDF/YPG militants just after leaving Daesh's last holdout of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 4, 2019.
Men suspected of being Daesh members wait to be searched by SDF/YPG militants just after leaving Daesh's last holdout of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 4, 2019. (AFP)

US-backed militants prepared on Tuesday to pluck more people out of Daesh's last Syrian stronghold, after almost 3,000 people, including hundreds of militants, left the enclave over the past 48 hours.

The mass outpouring of people has sparked a major humanitarian emergency, with the UN saying hundreds are expected to arrive at camps for the displaced on Tuesday alone.

SDF militants made their way into the last sliver of Daesh territory in the village of Baghouz over the weekend, unleashing a deluge of air strikes and artillery attacks on besieged militants.

The YPG dominated SDF is the Syrian branch of the PKK.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU, waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the death of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.

The US-backed militants claim the latest evacuees include relatives of Daesh members, as well as civilians.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based war monitor, said 280 Daesh terrorists were among those that quit the militant redoubt since Sunday.

TRT World 's Sara Firth has more.

People flee smoke and gunfire

Daesh terrorists are fiercely defending their riverside hamlet after the US-backed militants resumed their offensive on Friday night, following a two-week pause to allow for more people to be evacuated.

On Monday night, an AFP correspondent near the frontline saw black smoke billowing over the besieged pocket after an air strike hit militant targets.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria, said artillery fire and air strikes continued during the night.

The thousands that have poured out of Baghouz have posed a huge humanitarian challenge in camps for the displaced in northeast Syria.

Around 15,000 people reached the Al Hol camp from Baghouz between February 22 and March 1, the UN humanitarian coordination office OCHA said on Monday.

The new arrivals have pushed the camp's population to over 56,000, exacerbating already dire conditions at the crowded facility, it said.

Hundreds more are expected to arrive on Tuesday, according to OCHA.

After months under heavy bombardment and sometimes with very little to eat, families emerging from Baghouz are often in poor physical and psychological health.

Around 90 people, mostly children under the age of five, have died en route to the shelter or shortly after arriving, OCHA said.

Dying days of the so-called 'caliphate' 

Daesh terrorists are massively outnumbered and the US-backed militants say they expect a victory within days.

The capture of Baghouz would mark the end of Daesh territorial control in the region and deal a death blow to the so-called "caliphate," which once covered huge swathes of Syria and Iraq.

At its peak more than four years ago, the proto-state created by Daesh was the size of the United Kingdom and administered millions of people.

It minted its own currency, levied taxes, published a wide array of propaganda material and designed its own school curricula.

The so-called "caliphate" effectively collapsed in 2017 when Daesh lost most of its major cities in both countries.

The fall of Baghouz would carry mostly symbolic value.

Meeting between Russia and US

The chiefs of the US and Russian militaries met in Austria on Monday to discuss the situation in Syria, where a residual US military force will remain following the territorial defeat of Daesh.

"The two military leaders discussed the deconfliction of coalition and Russian operations in Syria," US military spokesman Colonel Pat Ryder said.

Syria's war has killed 360,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-regime protests.

Source: AFP