(The Washington Post) Syrian government forces said Thursday they had recaptured ISIS former border stronghold of Bukamal, shrinking the group’s remaining territory and leaving the militants with only a few enclaves.
The move into Bukamal, also called Abu Kamal, in eastern Syria choked off a key route for ISIS across the border with Iraq.
The ISIS self-declared caliphate, announced three years ago, once stretched across Syria and Iraq to occupy a landmass the size of Belgium. Now — after a series of defeats — the militants have been penned into a string of Syrian towns and villages along the Euphrates River.
In a message read aloud on Syrian state television, the military’s general command described the recapture of Abu Kamal as the victory that marked “the fall” of ISIS project in the region.
Despite ISIS promise to fight to the last man, the group has appeared to withdraw from its former Syrian bases without a major fight.