Anti-IS forces retake last jihadist bastion in Syria

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may be in Syria's al-Boukamal: Report

ISIS Has Retaken Half of Syrian Border Town

Islamic State group jihadists have recaptured almost all of Albu Kamal, putting up a fierce fightback for what had been the last significant Syrian town under their control, a monitor said Saturday. "Our armed forces units, in cooperation with allied and auxiliary forces, have liberated the town of Albu Kamal in Deir Ezzor province", a statement carried by the official SANA news agency said.

Iraqi forces seized several villages from ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, on Saturday in an operation to retake Rawa, the operation's commander said.

Two infantry divisions and Sunni tribal forces are participating in the offensive to recapture Rawa, a small town on the bank of the Euphrates, and its surrounding areas along the border with Syria.

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Rumana is on the north side of the Euphrates just across from Al Qaim, while the small town of Rawa lies downstream.

Syria's army declared victory over Islamic State on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists' last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year rule in the region.

Omar Abu Laila, a Europe-based Syrian opposition activist, said IS fighters are now once again in control of the town.

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Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi, who is also head of the armed forces, said Saturday the operation also aims to "clean open areas in the desert" of western Iraq.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said much of the fighting had been done by allied militias rather than the regular army.

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