Drone Shows Islamic State Fighters Flee Al-Qaim City
Nov 09 2017
When ISIS first emerged as a major threat in Iraq and Syria in 2014 the militants were riding around in tanks and gathered in large formations, presenting visible targets for the coalition.
Syrian state television declared "Albu Kamal is liberated".
- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi raised on Sunday the Iraqi flag at a border crossing with Syria days after Iraqi forces retook it from the Islamic State group, state TV announced.
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.
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. Hezbollah is fighting alongside government forces.
The battle for Al-Bukamal took on a potentially new dimension amid widely spread, yet unconfirmed reports suggested that the elusive ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had recently fled to the town.
On Friday, Syrian forces backed by Russian air power took full control of Deir Ezzor, the last city where IS still had a presence.
According to USA Today, the ISIS previously roamed the cities of Iraq and Syria riding in tanks and presenting themselves as an easy target for US -backed coalition airstrikes.
And Iraqi forces have closed in on the border area from the east, seizing the town of Al-Qaim from the jihadists last week.
As ISIS is destroyed in Iraq, Croft said Iraqi security forces will not cross the border into Syria to pursue them.
"Our movements are carried out under orders from the commander in chief of the armed forces and our key objective is to liberate Iraq's territories from Daesh".