Published: Fri, November 03, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Iraqi Forces Recapture More Territory from ISIS in Anbar

Iraqi Forces Recapture More Territory from ISIS in Anbar

"The Syrian army restored security and stability to Deir al-Zour city".

The troops are now in a race against the USA -backed fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militia, for control of the remaining areas in the hands of Islamic State.

Syrian forces entered Deir Al-Zor city in September, breaking a Daesh siege of almost three years on government-held parts of the provincial capital.

Daesh has now been driven from most of its strongholds in Deir Ezzor, but it still controls more than 35 percent of the province, much of it empty desert.

The IS militants seized large swaths of territory in Iraq in 2014.

The Britain-based Observatory said several trucks with dozens of Daesh fighters fleeing from Al-Qaim crossed the border and sought refuge in Abu Kamal.

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The organization tweeted a photograph of O'Donovan and her lawyer at the police station Friday. That move has been criticized by activists as aimed at clamping down on social media users.

Iraqi Prime minister Haider Al-Abadi speaks during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron (not seen) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 5, 2017.

Troops from the army and the elite Counter Terrorism Service "have started the assault on the centre of Al-Qaim", Staff Major General Noman Abed al-Zobai, the commander of the 7th Division, said from the scene.

A US -backed alliance of Syrian militias wrested control of Islamic State's de facto capital, Raqqa, last month, and Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul, the largest city held by the militants, in July.

Shortly afterwards, another officer said the town's Gaza district had fallen from terrorist hands.

An offensive by the army, backed by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias, and a separate offensive by US-backed Syrian militias have pushed Islamic State back into a shrinking pocket of land downstream of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border.

The US-led coalition has said around 1,500 Daesh fighters are left in the area, which it expects to be the scene of the "last big fight" against the group in Iraq.

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