LOOK: The day the ISIS 'caliphate' fell

BAGHOUZ, Syria – Kurdish-led forces pronounced the death of the Islamic State group's nearly five-year-old "caliphate" Saturday, March 23,  after flushing out diehard jihadists from their very last bastion in eastern Syria.

Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces raised their yellow flag in Baghouz, the remote riverside village where diehard jihadists of a variety of nationalities made a desperate, dramatic last stand.

The SDF's victory capped a painstaking six-month operation and will go down as a symbolic date in a war that changed the face of the region and spurred a spate of global terror attacks.

"Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100 percent territorial defeat of ISIS," spokesman Mustefa Bali said in a statement, using another acronym for IS.

Here are photos of that dramatic day:

SDF. An image grab released by the Kurdish Ronahi TV on March 23, 2019 shows the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) assault's overall commander Jia Furat (center) delivering a speech after announcing the total elimination of the Islamic State group's last bastion of Baghuz. (Photo by Ronahi TV/AFP

SDF. An image grab released by the Kurdish Ronahi TV on March 23, 2019 shows the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) assault's overall commander Jia Furat (center) delivering a speech after announcing the total elimination of the Islamic State group's last bastion of Baghuz.

(Photo by Ronahi TV/AFP

 

FIGHTER. A female fighter of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) flashes the victory gesture while celebrating near the Omar oil field in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province on March 23, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

FIGHTER. A female fighter of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) flashes the victory gesture while celebrating near the Omar oil field in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province on March 23, 2019.

Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

DAMAGE. This picture taken on March 22, 2019 shows the damaged roof of a building with smoke rising over the village of Baghouz with the flags of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (Yellow) and Women's Protection Units (Green) seen flying in the background. Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP

DAMAGE. This picture taken on March 22, 2019 shows the damaged roof of a building with smoke rising over the village of Baghouz with the flags of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (Yellow) and Women's Protection Units (Green) seen flying in the background.

Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP

 

SLAIN FIGHTER. A picture taken on March 23, 2019 shows a body reported to be of a slain Islamic State (ISIS) group fighter, in the ISIS's last bastion of Baghouz. Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

SLAIN FIGHTER. A picture taken on March 23, 2019 shows a body reported to be of a slain Islamic State (ISIS) group fighter, in the ISIS's last bastion of Baghouz.

Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

SEARCHING. Members of the Syrian civil defense search for victims amidst destruction from reported air strikes in the town of Kafraya in the north of Idlib province on March 22, 2019. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

SEARCHING. Members of the Syrian civil defense search for victims amidst destruction from reported air strikes in the town of Kafraya in the north of Idlib province on March 22, 2019.

Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

– Rappler.com