Syria authorities forces shut in on IS border city

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Media caption“We would rather be killed by IS than be here” – the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Syria

Syrian pro-government forces backed by Russian airpower are advancing quickly in direction of a border city nonetheless held by the Islamic State (IS) group.

A day after taking full management of town of Deir al-Zour, the Syrian navy is mounting an offensive to recapture the city of Albu Kamal.

Reports recommend IS fighters fled there from the Iraqi aspect of the border.

An Iraqi Shia Muslim militia has mentioned it would cross into Syria to affix the badault on Albu Kama.

It is an indication of how dramatically IS territory has shrunk previously few weeks that this city on the border with Iraq seems to be one of many jihadists’ final redoubts, the BBC’s Sebastian Usher studies.

It is unclear how a lot co-ordination there could possibly be between Iraqi and Syrian pro-government forces however the goal seems to be to disclaim IS fighters – and presumably their surviving commanders – the possibility of escaping into the distant desert wastes as their self-declared caliphate crumbles into mud, our Arab affairs editor provides.


Slide the button to see how the world IS controls has modified since 2015


Area controlled by Islamic State group at the end of October 2017


Area controlled by Islamic State group in January 2015

  • What will occur in Syria following IS defeats?

Russian phrases

By Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent

Russia, after Iran, is the opposite nice winner from the Syrian battle, reviving its position within the area, securing essential navy bases, and making itself a key diplomatic participant.

It needs to “solve” Syria on its phrases and with its favoured actors ending up the victors and it appears to be properly on the best way to reaching this objective.

But the rising proximity of Russian and Iranian-backed pro-regime forces and people backed by the US raises the opportunity of some harmful encounters. The US and Russia can agree on the necessity to defeat IS however on little else. Moscow’s “side” has the navy and diplomatic benefit on the bottom.

Will the US search to bolster its place in Syria, maybe as a part of a broader coverage to “roll back” Iranian affect, as US conservatives are hoping? This could also be simpler mentioned than accomplished and may require many extra sources and boots on the bottom than the Trump administration is ready to place in hurt’s means.

Full evaluation

On Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi introduced that the Iraqi border city of al-Qaim, near Albu Kamal, had been recaptured by authorities forces.

The identical day, the Syrian authorities mentioned it had retaken Deir al-Zour, capital of the area of the identical title wherein Albu Kamal is positioned.

Russia launched video of bombers in motion and missiles being launched from a submarine in strikes focusing on the Albu Kamala space.

A spokesman for the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia, an Iranian-backed Iraqi group combating alongside the Iraqi military towards IS, instructed Lebanese TV the group would be part of the struggle for the city throughout the border.

“Albu Kamal is in missile range of the Iraqi forces in al-Qaim,” Jaafar Hussaini was quoted as saying by Reuters information company.

“The presence of our forces on the border with Albu Kamal means there will be a new front in the confrontation with Daesh [another name for IS].”

IS, a Sunni Muslim jihadist group, overran swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory in 2014 and enforced its rule by means of ruthless suppression of its enemies, incomes worldwide condemnation for its cruelty.

It has additionally claimed accountability for quite a few badaults exterior he area, notably the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt with the deaths of all 224 folks aboard in October 2015 and the killing of 130 folks in a gun and bomb badault on Paris two weeks later.

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