SYRIA’S military announced the capture of the last major Isis stronghold yesterday, the day after troops attacked it from inside Iraq.
An army spokesman said the fall of Abu Kamal on the south-eastern border meant the end of the hopes of Isis and its foreign backers to “divide [and] control large parts of the Syria-Iraq borders and secure supply routes between the two countries.”
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi warned that Isis extremists would now head for chaotic Libya following their defeat in Syria and Iraq.
But some sources reported that mopping-up operations continued in Abu Kamal.
Syrian troops and Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units militia fighters launched a surprise attack from al-Qaim on the Iraqi side of the border yesterday, swiftly surrounding the town.
Yesterday, Syrian troops retook the Hamdan air base just north of Abu Kamal, on the west bank of the River Euphrates.
Meanwhile, the US-supplied Syrian Democratic Forces — dominated by Kurdish YPG guerillas — took five villages in its ongoing campaign to seize all of the oil-rich eastern province of Deir Ezzor.