Last Islamic State town in Syria falls

Adjust Comment Print

Croft cautioned that USA operations against the terrorist group will continue for some time as ISIS morphs into an insurgent like force that is likely to try to exploit desert areas in Iraq and Syria.

REUTERS/Sabratha municipality media office/HandoutA view shows damage at the scene after an airstrike by US warplanes against Islamic State in Sabratha, Libya, in this February 19, 2016 handout picture.

Hezbollah were "the foundation in the battle of Albu Kamal", said the commander, adding that hundreds of the elite forces of the Iran-backed Shi'ite group took part in the battle. The extremist group's self-styled caliphate is all but gone, but it is expected to continue inspiring and carrying out attacks. However, Iraqi fighter jets have repeatedly launched air raids on Daesh strongholds on both sides of the Syrian border. "The CAOC [Combined Air Operation Center in Qatar] essentially controls our air forces in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and other areas, can easily flex our air power day by day to areas as required, and Afghanistan is an example of that".

The Syrian government has sworn to recapture territory held by the SDF, including Islamic State's former capital Raqqa and oil and gas fields east of the Euphrates. Washington has not spelled out how its military support for the SDF would evolve after Islamic State's defeat.

Abadi visited Qaim and the nearby Husaybah border crossing in Western Iraq on Sunday, al-Iraqiya TV said, raising the Iraqi flag.

It said the fighting would pave the way for Syrian troops to regain full control of the border town, just hours after they and pro-regime fighters surrounded IS fighters there.