IS leader may be in eastern Syrian city of Boukamal

12 November, 2017, 02:01 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Remnants of ISIS driven across Euphrates

The defeat of militants in Rawa would mark the end of ISIS' era of territorial rule over the so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. The organization's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reported to be in the area.

Boukamal, ISIS's last major stronghold in Syria, was taken on Thursday after ISIS militants withdrew from it. Abdurrahman said ISIS launched a counteroffensive on Boukamal capturing more than 40 per cent of the town, mostly its northern neighbourhoods.

"IS has nearly completely retaken control of Albu Kamal, pushing pro-regime forces to its southern and eastern edges", said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based monitor.

Omar Abu Laila, a Europe-based Syrian opposition activist said IS fighters are now once again in control of the town that lies on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq.

Benatia sends Morocco to World Cup
Dirar opened the scoring off a cross-turned-shot on 25 minutes and Benatia doubled the lead after a corner on the half-hour. Morocco sealed its place by winning in Ivory Coast 2-0 in what was a straight shootout for the place from Group C.

On Saturday, Abdel Rahman said Albu Kamal was being pummelled by air strikes, but he could not specify whether they were Iraqi or Russian raids.

Two Iraqi infantry divisions and tribal forces are participating in the offensive to recapture Rawa and its surrounding areas along the border with Syria, the Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

Rawa is the last town still held by IS apart from Albu Kamal, Al-Qaim's twin town just across the Syrian border where the jihadists were still battling Damascus troops and allied forces yesterday after mounting a surprise counterattack late Thursday.

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