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Syria army, allies retake Albu Kamal from Islamic State

DEIR EZZOR: Syria’s military and loyalist militiamen Sunday ousted the Islamic State group from its final city stronghold within the nation as regime strikes claimed extra lives in a rebel-held enclave close to Damascus.

The military stated it had taken full management of Albu Kamal within the jap province of Deir Ezzor, which has modified fingers a number of occasions. Authorities forces introduced the seize of the city close to the Iraqi border earlier this month however misplaced it to a blistering IS counter-attack every week in the past.

“Syrian troops and allied forces took full management of Albu Kamal, and are eradicating mines and explosives left by IS,” a navy supply in Deir Ezzor informed AFP on Sunday. “IS put up fierce resistance and tried to make use of explosives and suicide bombers, however besieging town allowed the military to clinch the offensive and take full management of town.”

State information company SANA additionally reported the advance in Albu Kamal, saying the “Syrian military and its allies eradicated the final Daesh (IS) terrorist pocket within the city”. A string of territorial defeats throughout northern and jap Syria had left Albu Kamal because the final vital Syrian city held by IS.

Syria’s military introduced on November 9 it had ousted IS from the city, however the jihadists retook it in a lightning offensive. Every week later, the military and allied Iraqi, Lebanese, and Iranian fighters broke again into Albu Kamal and steadily superior by the city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a community of sources throughout Syria, confirmed on Sunday that regime troops and their allies had captured Albu Kamal.

“IS fighters withdrew from town in the direction of the Euphrates River,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman informed AFP. “There is no such thing as a extra preventing within the city, however there are clashes round Albu Kamal,” he stated, including that Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi militias had fought alongside regime troops, backed by Russian air energy.

The monitor stated greater than 80 fighters have been killed within the three days of ferocious fight to retake the city – 31 pro-regime forces and at the very least 50 IS militants. IS seized massive areas of each Syria and neighbouring Iraq in a lightning 2014 marketing campaign, however this yr has misplaced a lot of the territory it as soon as held.

The lack of Albu Kamal caps the group’s reversion to an underground guerrilla group with no city base. On one other entrance close to Damascus, intense regime bombardment on the rebel-held Ghouta area killed eight civilians and wounded 25, the Observatory stated, because the United Nations urged all sides to keep away from concentrating on non-combatants.

Six days of heavy bombing have killed dozens within the area, the place insurgent teams and regime forces are locked in a cycle of tit-for-tat assaults. On the sixth consecutive day of the heavy bombing, an AFP videographer at a hospital in Ghouta’s largest metropolis, Douma, noticed a person crying as he hugged an unconscious teenager.

A nurse helped a distraught girl who seemed to be trying to find a cherished one and a person kissed the physique of a kid wrapped in a shroud. Docs struggled to save lots of a toddler with a blood infusion to the chest as a boy moaned in ache on one other hospital mattress.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have besieged Japanese Ghouta since 2013, making humanitarian circumstances within the space, the place some 400,000 individuals stay, extraordinarily dire. On Sunday, the UN’s coordinator for humanitarian and growth affairs in Syria, Ali al-Zaatari, referred to as on “all warring sides to keep away from concentrating on civilians”.

“For days, there have been day by day studies about civilians being killed and others being severely wounded, along with warehouses, hospitals and colleges being put out of service throughout the change of shellfire, notably in Damascus and Japanese Ghouta,” Zaatari stated.

Greater than 330,000 persons are estimated to have been killed within the Syrian warfare, which started in 2011 because the regime brutally crushed anti-government protests. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey met Sunday in Antalya to debate Syria forward of a three-way summit within the Russian metropolis of Sochi on Wednesday. Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov referred to as the assembly along with his Turkish counterparts Mevlut Cavusoglu and Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif “very productive” and stated that they had agreed on “all the primary points”.

Moscow, Tehran and Ankara are sponsoring the so-called Astana peace talks, named for the Kazakh capital the place they’re repeatedly held, which requires “de-escalation” zones in key areas of Syria — together with the Japanese Ghouta area.


Syria military, allies retake Albu Kamal from Islamic State

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