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Syrian Army Retakes Last IS Stronghold

Syrian government forces have reportedly taken control of Albu Kamal, a town near the border with Iraq.  (illustrative photo)

Syrian state media say government forces have retaken the last stronghold of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the country.

SANA news agency reported on November 19 that government forces and their allies took complete control of Albu Kamal, a town near the border with Iraq.

Lebanon's Al-Manar TV, affiliated with Hizballah, also reported that IS fighters had been defeated in Albu Kamal.

With the town retaken, IS fighters remain holed up in only a few villages and patches of desert in Syria, losing large swaths of its so-called caliphate in the past year to the Syrian Army and U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab forces.

The Syrian Army had declared victory over IS fighters in Albu Kamal earlier this month but the militants then staged a counterattack and retook the town.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on November 29 that most IS fighters withdrew from the town, with fighting continuing on the outskirts of Albu Kamal.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP