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Islamic State Evacuates Last Syria Stronghold To Government, Allies


Syrian pro-government media said Syrian troops had clashed with remnants of Islamic State (IS) militants in Albu Kamal after entering the town on November 8. (illustrative photo)

The Syrian Army and its allies have taken Islamic State's last major stronghold in Syria, Albu Kamal, and are now fighting the last remaining IS pockets in the country's eastern desert, the army's general command said on November 9.

"The liberation of Albu Kamal city is very important because it signals the general fall of the terrorist Daesh organization's project in the region," a statement from the general command said, using an alternative name for the militant group.

Syrian pro-government media said Syrian troops had clashed with remnants of Islamic State (IS) militants in the town after they entered it late on November 8.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces and allied troops, including Iraqi forces who linked from across the border, are combing through Albu Kamal after IS militants withdrew.

With the collapse of IS in Albu Kamal, IS militants have no major territorial control in Syria and Iraq and are believed to have dispersed in the desert west and east of the Euphrates River.

U.S. officials have estimated that there were between 2,500 and 3,500 IS militants around the city. Leading members of the group were also believed to have taken refuge in Albu Kamal.

IS has suffered a string of defeats at the hands of separate but simultaneous offensives in Iraq and Syria by the Russian-backed Syrian forces and allied militias as well as U.S.-backed Iraqi and Syrian fighters.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
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