Syrian army, allies, take last IS stronghold in Syria

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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. It is located near al-Qaim, and as Iraqi forces continue to recapture their cities, many predict that it will not take long before ISIS loses their ground on Rawa.

A video published on a YouTube account affliated with the pro-government forces shows Syrian Army soldiers and allied forces from various militia groups as well as Hezbollah fighters celebrating their victory in Abu Kamal.

"Part of those units crossed into Iraq, with the help of Hashed al-Shaabi units, to circle around Albu Kamal and reach the northern side of the town", the source added.

Islamic State retains control over some areas of desert and villages nearby, as well as a town and some other villages in adjacent areas of Iraq, and in scattered pockets elsewhere in both countries.

First appearing as a major threat in Iraq and Syria in 2014, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, are being driven out of the cities they previously occupied.

The Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary alliance has denied that its own forces entered Syria on Wednesday as part of the fight.

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It has already carried out guerrilla operations in both Iraq and in Syria, and has continued to inspire lone militants to attack civilian targets in the West.

In recent weeks, an estimated 120,000 people have been displaced from Albu Kamal alone, said Linda Tom from the United Nations' humanitarian affairs coordination office in Damascus.

Syrian forces captured the provincial capital, Deir al-Zour, from IS on Friday.

A USA -backed coalition has supported a rival campaign by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias that have pushed Islamic State from much of the country's north and east.

Later the same day, Iraqi forces took al-Qaim, across the border. "We have no orders to cross the borders", PMF spokesman Ahmed al-Asadi said.