Iraqi Forces Liberate Qaim, Key Border Crossing

Deir al-Zour: Syrian army 'takes last IS stronghold'

Iraqi Forces Enter Last ISIS Bastion in Iraq

Assad's forces and their allies punched their way into the city in September, breaking a almost three-year siege on the handful of neighborhoods that had remained under government control since the militants swept across large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

Iraqi armed forces have re-captured the district of al-Qaim on the border with Syria, driving out the Islamic State, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said.

Al-Zawbaei went on to point out that Iraqi ground forces were receiving air support from US -led coalition warplanes, which, he said, had succeeded in destroying "many" ISIS sites in western Anbar.

The notorious terrorist group has recently suffered a string of crushing defeats in both Iraq and Syria after overrunning vast swathes of territory in both countries in 2014.

He estimated there were 1,500-2,500 fighters left in al-Qaim and 2,000-3,000 in Albu Kamal.

Yesterday, Syrian state media announced that the army, backed by Russian firepower, had recaptured all of Deir Ezzor city, in the oil-rich east of the country.

But both the Iraqi and Syrian governments and their worldwide backers say they worry that the fighters will still be able to mount guerrilla attacks once they no longer have territory to defend.

The terrorist group had for years besieged a government enclave in Deir al-Zor until an army advance relieved it in early September, starting a battle for jihadist-held parts of the city.

The commander added that Iraqi forces have also established control over the nearby Al-Qaim border crossing.

A statement by the premier's office said Abadi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, "congratulated the people of Iraq for the liberation of al-Qaim by the heroes".

Driven this year from its two de facto capitals - Iraq's Mosul and Syria's Raqqa - both the Iraqi and Syrian governments and their worldwide backers say they worry that ISIS will still be able to mount guerilla attacks once they no longer have territory to defend.

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