Syrian army encircles last ISIS stronghold in Syria

An Iraqi border policeman stands guard on a watch tower on the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Abu Kamal-qaim border crossing. (File photo: Reuters)

Syria's army and its allies have surrounded and started to enter Albu Kamal, ISIS’s last significant stronghold in Syria, the pro-Hezbollah al-Manar television reported on Wednesday.

ISIS’s caliphate has been all but destroyed over the past two years in Syria, remaining only in Albu Kamal and a few neighboring towns and patches of desert, and some isolated pockets elsewhere.

However, it still has a territorial presence in Libya and other countries and many governments expect it to remain a threat even after it loses its self-proclaimed caliphate.

The Syrian army, alongside its Lebanese military ally Hezbollah and other Shi'ite militias, and backed by Iran and Russia, have seized swathes of central and eastern Syria in an advance against ISIS this year.

A US-backed international coalition has supported a rival campaign in Syria by Kurdish and Arab militias that have pushed ISIS from much of the country's north and east.

In Iraq, ISIS firmly controls only the small village of Rawa after the coalition helped the army and Iran-backed Iraqi forces fight it throughout the country.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51