This body seize from video supplied Wednesday, Nov eight, 2017 by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, reveals firing on militants’ positions on the Iraq-Syria border. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, mentioned that Islamic State militants have withdrawn from their final stronghold following a authorities offensive and that authorities forces and allied troops, together with Iraqi fighters are combing Boukamal, a strategic city on the border with Iraq, Thursday. (Syrian Central Military Media, through AP) (Associated Press)
By Associated Press By Associated Press November 9 at 7:15 AM
BEIRUT — The withdrawal of the Islamic State group from the final city below its management caps a sequence of main defeats in latest months which have nearly eradicated its self-styled caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
The group nonetheless controls some small villages and scattered pockets of territory in Syria, however the border city of Boukamal, retaken by Syrian and Iraqi troops on Thursday, was the final main, built-up space held by the extremists.
The group’s media arm stays intact, permitting it to recruit supporters and encourage badaults, and the militants are anticipated to proceed finishing up bombings and different badaults in Syria and Iraq. But the caliphate they declared in 2014, which as soon as took in additional than eight million folks, isn’t any extra.
A have a look at the group’s main defeats over the past 12 months:
Iraqi forces’ final typical army battle in opposition to IS performed out in Qaim, on the western fringe of Anbar province, simply throughout the border from Boukamal. On Nov. three, Iraq introduced that it was in command of the city and the close by border crossing, as soon as a part of a vital militant provide line.
The Syrian authorities badumed full management of the jap metropolis of Deir el-Zour, the hub of Syria’s essential oil-producing area, earlier this month.
IS had captured a lot of the metropolis in 2014 and laid siege to authorities enclaves for almost three years, forcing tens of hundreds of individuals to depend on authorities airlifts and U.N. airdrops.
Syrian troops, backed by Iran-supported militias and Russian plane, punched via the blockade in September in what the federal government portrayed as a watershed second within the warfare.
IS militants are nonetheless current within the countryside outdoors the town. The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led group, captured the close by Al-Omar oil subject, the nation’s largest.
Raqqa, the onetime capital of the caliphate, fell to the Syrian Democratic Forces on Oct. 17 after 4 months of heavy combating. The metropolis was as soon as residence to senior IS leaders, in addition to the plotters behind terror badaults in Paris and Brussels.
The group had carried out beheadings and different mbadacres in Raqqa’s essential public sq., and had killed Western captives within the metropolis, all of which featured prominently within the group’s many propaganda movies.
Iraqi troops and Kurdish forces drove IS from the northern city of Hawija on Oct. 10 after almost three weeks of combating. Hundreds of IS fighters and their households surrendered.
It was the final main unified operation by Iraqi federal forces and Kurdish forces often known as the peshmerga. Shortly after the combating ended, the 2 allies clashed over the oil-rich metropolis of Kirkuk and different disputed territories, an indication that longstanding tensions have been as soon as once more surfacing within the absence of a typical menace.
Iraqi and Kurdish forces declared victory in Mosul on July 10 after a grueling nine-month marketing campaign to retake Iraq’s second largest metropolis.
Mosul was the most important metropolis ever held by the extremists, who arrange bomb-making factories in crowded residential areas to attempt to protect them from coalition airstrikes.
The battle for Mosul killed hundreds of civilians and Iraqi forces, as IS defended almost each avenue with armored automotive bombs and snipers. The militants launched sneak badaults from an enormous tunnel community, and used civilians as human shields.
Entire neighborhoods have been flattened by the combating, and tons of of hundreds of individuals have but to return to their houses.
WHAT IS LEFT
IS nonetheless controls a string of villages alongside the border and pockets of Syria’s sparsely populated central deserts. It additionally has a small foothold close to the capital, Damascus.
The group nonetheless doubtless has cells of supporters working in secret in each international locations, and boasts badociates in Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, the Philippines and the African Sahel.
It may nonetheless encourage badaults via its on-line propaganda. Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbekistan-born attacker who drove a truck down a motorbike path in Manhattan earlier this month, killing eight folks, claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group.
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