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Syrian troops encircle last Islamic State-held town

Syrian troops encircle last Islamic State-held town

Coalition airstrikes have declined by more than 50% as US -backed forces in Iraq and Syria have largely destroyed the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate and surviving militants have been killed or fled.

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.

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

Baghdadi took control of what was then known as the Islamic State of Iraq in 2010 after the death of its former leader.

Syrian state media have not yet confirmed the capture of Albu Kamal.

Iraqi forces backed by the USA -led coalition drove IS from Qaim and surrounding areas last week, in what coalition officials said marked the end of the conventional war against the extremist group in Iraq.

As ISIS is destroyed in Iraq, Croft said Iraqi security forces will not cross the border into Syria to pursue them. Scattered villages near al-Qaim, close to Albu Kamal, are still under militant control in an area called Rummana. Citing an unnamed Iraqi intelligence source, the Iraqi News Media Agency claimed Monday the infamous Salafi Sunni Muslim cleric escaped the other collapsing half of his self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq via yellow taxi as Iraqi troops and the Popular Mobilization Forces retook the Iraq-Syria border crossing of Al-Qa'im.

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