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Syria civil war: Last major IS town Albu Kamal 'captured'

Syria civil war: Last major IS town Albu Kamal 'captured'

The shift is allowing the U.S.to redirect some of its efforts to Afghanistan to help that nation's government battle Taliban fighters.

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.

This progress also comes after the Syrian forced and Iraqi troops met at the border, the source added.

"The offensive to free al-Rumana, north of Qaim, was launched on Wednesday with participation of security troops and tribes", Qutri al-Obeidi, a senior leader with Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces) in al-Baghdadi region in Anbar, told Al Sumaria News. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, disputed this account, saying some fighting continued across the town.

Jaish Chief Masood Azhar's Nephew Among 3 Terrorists Killed In Kashmir
He said blankets and some eatables were also recovered from the hideouts, indicating that the militants were using these places. A gunfight erupted on Monday evening between security forces and militants in Jammu and Kashmir Pulwama district.

The Iraq Report is a weekly feature at The New Arab.

Boukamal is the last town controlled by IS in Syria and Iraq. The jihadi organization, which grew out of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and was known for its commitment to sectarian violence against the country's Shiite Muslim community, had grown powerful during the US occupation of Iraq and took advantage of the uprising against Assad to spread to Syria in 2013.

USA -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. Baghdadi was long rumored dead but apparently appeared in a recent voice recording released in late September.

Later the same day, Iraqi forces took al-Qaim, across the border. Inside of Iraq, small pockets of ISIS fighters remain, he said.


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