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Syrian troops encircle last Islamic State-held town
09 November 2017, 12:25 | Bernice Figueroa
Army Takes Last Daesh Stronghold in Syria
On Wednesday, after a months-long advance through central and eastern Syria, the Syrian army and allied Shi'ite militias encircled and attacked Albu Kamal.
Syrian troops, fighting alongside various pro-government and Iran-backed militias, have claimed a series of major victories in a rapidly closing pocket that comprises ISIS's final stretch of territory in the Middle East. Sana news agency said Syrian and Iraqi forces had met on the border and the town had been surrounded.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi raised on Sunday the Iraqi flag at a border crossing with Syria days after Iraqi forces retook it from the Islamic State group, state TV announced.
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. Later the same day, Iraqi forces took al-Qaim, across the border.
The Islamic State, also called ISIS, has been pushed out of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, and more recently Raqqa, the terrorist group's de facto capital in Syria. The bombing is the first since Iraqi federal security forces took over the city from Kurdish region-run troops last month in the wake of a controversial independence vote. Both the Syrian and Iraqi militaries, along with their allied militias and respective worldwide sponsors, have largely defeated ISIS, but parts of Syria remain under rebel and Kurdish control.
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