ISIS Has Been Ousted From Deir al-Zour, Syrian Media Says

Jerome Frank
November 4, 2017

Even as the Syrian government assault was nearing completion, Iraqi forces entered Al-Qaim yesterday, military commanders said, unleashing a barrage of artillery fire along with Iraqi and US-led coalition air strikes.

Earlier in the day, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, Commander of Liberation of West Anbar Operations, said in a statement that the Iraqi army, Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces, paramilitary brigades of Hashd Shaabi and Sunni tribal fighters broke into the areas of Se'da, Karabla and Husaibah, which are part of the city of al-Qaim.

After overrunning vast territories in northern and western Iraq in 2014, ISIS has recently suffered a string of major defeats.

All the players in the multilayered war covet influence there, and several forces are converging: the alliance that supports the Syrian government; the rival American-backed group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces; and Iraqi forces, who are pursuing Islamic State holdouts on their side of the border.

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.

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He estimated there were 1,500-2,500 fighters left in al-Qaim and 2,000-3,000 in Albu Kamal. Syrian forces entered Deir Ezzor city in September, breaking an ISIS siege of almost three years.

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.

Deir el-Zour had been divided into a government-held and an IS-held part for almost three years.

"Iraqi security forces have fought hard to reach this point, and their battle-proven troops captured ISIS's last Iraqi stronghold swiftly and thoroughly", said Army Maj.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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