Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Iraq Launches Offensive to Recapture Last Town under ISIS Control

Iraq Launches Offensive to Recapture Last Town under ISIS Control

Iraqi forces seized several villages from the Daesh extremist group on Saturday in an operation to retake the last pocket of militant-held territory in the country, the operation's commander said. The jihadists' latest rout left them with only the dregs of a self-styled "state" that once spanned huge territory in Iraq and Syria, with surviving IS fighters melting away into desert hideouts.

The Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network reported on Wednesday that Syrian army soldiers, backed by pro-government fighters from popular defense groups, had entered Boukamal.

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Four U.S. officials said Thursday that the U.S. and Russian Federation are nearing an agreement on Syria for how they hope to resolve the Arab country's civil war once Daesh is defeated.

"The fighting is ongoing, now close to the town's centre", Abdurrahman said, adding that when ISIS fighters withdrew from Boukamal on Thursday it was a trap they set to hit back at government forces and their allies.

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Abu Kamal is the main border crossing into Iraq, where it links with al-Qaim, another town which recently fell to Iraqi forces from ISIS.

Syrian regime forces and allied militia overran Albu Kamal, which lies on the border with Iraq, on Thursday but have since faced a string of IS counter-attacks. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ISIS has recaptured roughly half of the town of Abu Kamal. "In the last few weeks, an estimated 120,000 people were displaced from Albu Kamal", the United Nations' humanitarian affairs office in Damascus said.

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