Last Islamic State town in Syria is ‘captured’

©AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images
Last updated: November 9, 2017 at 12:52 pm

The Syrian army has captured the last major Islamic State-held town, Albu Kamal, the country’s media have said.

The pro-Assad alliance commander confirmed the last urban centre in Syria was now free.

He said: “The last stronghold of Daesh [Islamic State], Albu Kamal, is free of the Daesh organisation.”

The army and its allies moved into the city and were driving out IS fighters throughout Wednesday.

It marks another significant point in the fight against the militant group, which is now effectively wiped out following the fall of major strongholds.

Earlier this month, the forces celebrated taking Deir el Zor after two months of fighting.

Albu Kamal was the last urban centre in Syria in the hands of the extremists. According to SANA, the advance came as troops and allies, including fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, met at the Iraqi border.

There were reports from the alliance commander that the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces, an alliance of militias, had crossed into Syria, but the group denied this.

“Our movements are carried out under orders from the commander in chief of the armed forces and our key objective is to liberate Iraq’s territories from Daesh. We have no orders to cross the borders,” PMF spokesman Ahmed al-Asadi said.

The United Nations estimates that 120,000 people have been displaced from Albu Kamal alone in recent weeks, as allied troops drove out IS.

©REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

In October, Islamic State was driven out of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State’s self-styled caliphate.

The group is continuing to lose ground in the region, but still has a presence in Libya.

In July, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi declared that the city of Mosul had been “liberated” from Islamic State.

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