Eastern Syria — President Trump said Wednesdayin Syria by next week, with all the territory it once held re-taken by the U.S.-led coalition. But in eastern Syria, CBS News' Charlie D'Agata had to run from ISIS bombs.
A whirring noise, feared to be the sound of an incoming ISIS mortar flew overhead, sending people scrambling and taking cover. Soldiers said CBS News had no choice but to run into the open, single file, to reach a safer place.
U.S. forces and allies have now reduced ISIS territory to the point where everything has become close combat. Even getting to the frontline on Wednesday morning meant a dash through the desert at breakneck speed, quickly covering ground where ISIS could mount sneak attacks.
CBS News was not there long before twin airstrikes pounded positions straight ahead. In the distance, the ISIS dream of a caliphate in its dying days. After all the fighting and lives lost, this is what it comes down to: A terror group that once held territory around the size of Indiana has been reduced to an area just a couple square miles.
Commander Khaled Baran said the final fight against ISIS has slowed to a grind because the terror group is holding those civilians as human shields. It's a fight that's already been costly enough. Passing through recently liberated villages, you can see people who have begun returning home, only to find there's not much left of home at all.