Syrian army & allies capture last major ISIS held town in Syria

Violet Powell
November 9, 2017

The Syrian army, alongside Hezbollah and other Shi'ite militias, and backed by Iran and Russian Federation, have seized swathes of central and eastern Syria in the advance against Islamic State this year.

Syrian troops and allied militiamen entered the jihadist-held town of Albu Kamal on Wednesday, state media said, edging closer to ousting the Islamic State group from its last urban stronghold in the country.

The two outlets said earlier that Syrian troops had linked up with Iraqi forces across the border.

Syrian government forces have captured the town of Abu Kamal located in the Euphrates valley on the border with Iraq, according to an RT Arabic correspondent and local TV. But a war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said it was not true that Albu Kamal was taken and there was still fighting in the area.

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Baghdadi took control of what was then known as the Islamic State of Iraq in 2010 after the death of its former leader.

US -led airstrikes against ISIS are down 60 to 70 percent the past month compared to the previous eight months as the caliphate crumbles in Iraq and Syria and the number of targets decrease "dramatically", according to the deputy commander for air operations against ISIS. Recent reports have revealed that coalition airstrikes have declined by more than 50 percent. In the years since, however, local and global forces have reduced ISIS territory in both countries to a fraction of its former self.

And Iraqi forces have closed in on the border area from the east, seizing the town of Al-Qaim from the jihadists last week. Al-Abadi made his comments at a news conference following his weekly Cabinet meeting. News showed ISIS fighters attempting to flee al-Qaim city.

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