Fighting between US -backed fighters and IS inflicted more casualties among people fleeing the violence in eastern Syria Tuesday where the extremists are on the verge of losing the last area they control. What happens to those civilians when they flee the village of Baghouz, however, is a problem of its own.
At least 16 civilians, including seven children, were killed in air attacks launched by a US-backed coalition aiming to capture ISIL's last enclave in eastern Syria.
The SDF estimates up to 600 IS fighters are still holding out in the area, majority foreigners.
"Most of those who got out are foreigners", said Abdel Rahman.
The fight is being waged by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, which has seized about a quarter of the country, mostly through the US-backed campaign against Islamic State.
Mustafa Bali, an SDF spokesman, said hundreds of women and children came out Wednesday.More news: Williams reveals new F1 2019 livery and title sponsor
After a pause of more than a week to allow civilians out, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared a final push to retake the pocket of land from the extremists on Saturday, aided by the warplanes and artillery of a US-led coalition.
Syria's Kurds hold hundreds of suspected foreign IS fighters and have long urged their home countries to repatriate them, but these have been reluctant.
During an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Tuesday, acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan met Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi but the possibility of United States troops in Iraq deploying into Syria for operations against IS "just did not come up" during their talks, Shanahan told reporters.
Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan on Tuesday made an unannounced visit to Baghdad.
The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said ISIS members will be interrogated by Iraqi security agencies.
Abdul-Mahdi's announcement came a week after the USA called on other nations to repatriate and prosecute their citizens who traveled to Syria to fight with IS and who are now being held by Washington's local partners.More news: Google to launch Pixel Watch, new smartphones, and extra speakers in 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump said in December he would pull all 2,000 American troops out of Syria, announcing the battle against Islamic State nearly over.
A U.S. State Department official said last week that if the fighters can't be repatriated, though, the detention centre on the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could be used to hold them "where lawful and appropriate". A top US general said last week the militants would be an enduring menace after the withdrawal, as they retained leaders, fighters, and resources that would fuel further insurgency.
Sending Islamic State prisoners to Guantanamo would open up new legal challenges, according to experts.
'We think coalition members need to take responsibility for their citizens who are fighters.
In the past two months, more than 37,000 people, mostly wives and children of IS fighters, have fled into SDF-held areas, the Observatory says.More news: Ultra-processed foods push death risk up by 14 percent, study says