Mideast Daily News

Last Major Islamic State Stronghold In Syria Falls

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

November 9, 2017

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The Syrian army has reportedly recaptured Albu Kamal, the last major city held by the Islamic State in the country. Hizbullah units along with members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, which are both backed by Iran, also participated in the operation. It comes after fighters loyal to the Assad regime retook Deir al-Zour from ISIS last week, and just one month after the liberation of Raqqa—the former capital of terror group’s so-called caliphate—by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, comprised primarily of Kurdish YPG soldiers. The Islamic State has lost nearly all of its strongholds over the past year, in sharp contrast to the gains made by the Sunni organization as it swept across the Middle East in 2014. ISIS currently retains control over scattered areas of desert and small villages in Syria along with a few other pockets in Iraq. On the retreat, the terror group has sought to regroup primarily in Libya and the Sinai Peninsula while building its presence in Afghanistan (as evidenced by its attack this week on a television station in Kabul). Analysts believe that without a fixed base, ISIS is likely to revert back to insurgency tactics including orchestrating lone wolf attacks through its cells and individual followers in the West.

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