The Islamic State group has misplaced a lot of the “caliphate” the the jihadists declared throughout swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014
The Islamic State group recaptured almost all of Albu Kamal in japanese Syria on Saturday after a fierce fightback to avoid wasting the final city bastion of its collapsing “caliphate”.
The jihadist rebound got here because the United States and Russia issued a shock joint presidential assertion saying there was “no military solution” to Syria’s grinding six-year struggle.
The two nations have lengthy backed reverse sides in Syria, however the Kremlin on Saturday stated US president Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin made progress throughout a short assembly on the sidelines of a summit in Vietnam.
Trump and Putin additionally “confirmed their determination to defeat ISIS”, an alternate title for IS.
Islamic State group’s shrinking territory
The jihadist group overran swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014, however its self-styled “caliphate” has since been whittled right down to a pocket of land alongside the border between the 2 nations.
IS is placing up a fierce defence there, significantly for the very important Syrian border city of Albu Kamal, stated the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
Syrian regime forces and allied militia from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran overran Albu Kamal on Thursday however have since confronted a string of IS counter-attacks and ambushes.
“IS has almost completely retaken control of Albu Kamal, pushing pro-regime forces to its southern and eastern edges,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Observatory, informed AFP.
Clashes and air strikes had been ongoing there all through Saturday, he stated.
– IS squeezed in Iraq –
Across the border, Iraqi forces seized on Saturday a number of villages from the jihadists in an offensive to seize the final IS-held part of their nation.
Iraqi forces and members of the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation models) advance in direction of town of Al-Qaim close to the Syrian border as they battle jihadist holdouts on November three, 2017
The operation’s commander, General Abdelamir Yarallah, stated his forces captured Rumana and 10 different villages as they labored their manner in direction of the Euphrates Valley city of Rawa, the final Iraqi city nonetheless held by IS.
The jihadist group has within the house of some weeks seen its “caliphate” shrink to a small rump and misplaced main cities equivalent to Mosul in Iraq, and Raqa and Deir Ezzor in Syria.
Albu Kamal was the final important Syrian city it managed, and dropping it might cap the group’s reversion to an underground guerrilla organisation with no city base.
IS rose to prominence within the chaos of Syria’s battle, which broke out in 2011 with protests towards President Bashar al-Assad.
It has since advanced into a posh struggle that has killed greater than 330,000 folks, compelled hundreds of thousands extra to flee, and left a lot of the nation in ruins.
Violence has broadly decreased since a collection of “de-escalation zones” have been put in place in latest months in battlefronts throughout the nation.
On Saturday, Jordan introduced that it had agreed with the United States and Russia to formally set up such a zone in southern Syria to construct on a ceasefire already in place there.
– ‘Just like Iraq’ –
Multiple rounds of peace talks hosted by the United Nations in Geneva have did not resolve Syria’s entrenched battle.
Saturday’s joint assertion from the US and Russian presidents urged Syria’s warring sides to participate in a brand new spherical of talks later this month in Switzerland.
“What the joint statement indicates is a commitment to get this to a political reconciliation and peace process. That serves their interest, it serves our interest,” a senior US State Department official stated Saturday.
The official stated it was seemingly that Syria’s post-conflict political system can be “a power sharing arrangement just like we ended up with in Iraq”.
“Syria has those same complex dynamics so there’s going to be Alawite presence, there’s going to be Sunni representation, it’ll be a similar dynamic,” the official stated.
The official anticipated that future parliamentary and presidential elections would see the Syrian folks “decide they want different leadership”.
Assad, the official stated, can be allowed to go “wherever he would like to go. Unless he’s under war crimes investigations”.
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