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12 November 2017, 12:50 | Darnell Patrick
ISIS Has Retaken Half of Syrian Border Town
A Hezbollah-run media unit said on Friday Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reported to have been in the Syrian town of Albu Kamal during the Syrian army and its allies' operation to clear it.
Two infantry divisions and Sunni tribal forces are participating in the offensive to recapture Rawa, a small town on the bank of the Euphrates, and its surrounding areas along the border with Syria.
He later said they had "retaken Rumana and its bridge on the Euphrates" along with 10 other villages.
"Troops are continuing their advance", Yarallah said.
With the fall of Daesh's (ISIS) last significant stronghold in Syria, Iranian and Russian-backed Syrian troops now turn to face off with their main rival, the USA -backed forces holding large oil fields and strategic territory in the country's north and east.
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Albu Kamal lies at the heart of what used to be the sprawling "caliphate" that IS declared in 2014 across swathes of Iraq and Syria.
The capture of the border town had sealed "the fall of the terrorist Daesh organization's project in the region", an army statement said on Thursday, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Last week, Iraqi forces controlled the larger town of al-Qaim in what the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi labeled "record time", leaving a few small pockets in the hands of the IS.
But Daesh fighters pushed back in from the desert to the north where they still control a strip of territory between areas held by government troops and by US-backed Kurdish-led forces.
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