Syria's army and its allies, spearheaded by Lebanon'sHezbollah, captured Islamic State's last stronghold in Syria on Wednesday, a commander in the alliance said, bringing the self-declared caliphate close to complete downfall.
Hezbollah were "the foundation in the battle of Albu Kamal", said the commander, adding that hundreds of the elite forces of the Iran-backed Shi'ite group took part in the battle.
REUTERS/Sabratha municipality media office/HandoutA view shows damage at the scene after an airstrike by USA warplanes against Islamic State in Sabratha, Libya, in this February 19, 2016 handout picture.
IS retains control over some areas of desert and villages nearby, and a few other pockets in both Iraq and Syria. The footage shows Hezbollah fighters posing with the group's flag as well as Syrian soldiers and allied militia posing with the national Syrian flag.
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. Sana news agency said Syrian and Iraqi forces had met on the border and the town had been surrounded.
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.
Baghdadi took control of what was then known as the Islamic State of Iraq in 2010 after the death of its former leader.
The Iraq Report is a weekly feature at The New Arab.
Syrian forces captured the provincial capital, Deir al-Zour, from IS on Friday.
The US-led coalition that has been fighting IS in an offensive separate to that of the Russian-backed regime estimated recently that there were 1,500 jihadists in the Euphrates Valley border area.