Eastern Syria —U.S-backed Syrian forces say they launched a final push to defeat isis in the only remaining pocket of territory that the extremists still hold in the country. A large presence of American troops remain in Syria, but local forces fear what comes next if the U.S. completely pulls out.

They arrive to a barren stretch of desert, exhausted, hungry and cold, but finally out of harm’s way. Families who lived under the grip of ISIS until the bitter end.

America’s allies on the ground announced the start of what they’re calling the final battle against remaining ISIS holdouts after allowing thousands of civilians to flee.

One woman told CBS News her children became terrified of the constant air strikes and bombardment and that they’ve been living on a diet of grass.

Even if ISIS territory is reclaimed, is U.S. leaving job “halfway” done?

The men have been separated, and interrogated to see if they were ISIS members.

One man said they didn’t leave before because “we were scared of the consequences of escaping — being put in jail or walking through a minefield.” 

Earlier this week, CBS News visited the frontline and found no sign of a slowdown, as Kurdish-led troops closed in on the last strip of ISIS territory, backed up by U.S. and coalition airstrikes.

Just seconds earlier, CBS News heard a jet roaring overhead followed by two airstrikes in that direction — this fight is not over yet.

Sounds of the ongoing battle rang out as we spoke with local Commander Khaled Baran.

“We have the will to end ISIS,” he said. “And ISIS is about to end.”

Nobody here wants to predict yet when that end will come, but ISIS as a territorial force has entered it’s final days.

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