Syria's Army Declares Victory Over Islamic State

Saudi Arabia's King Salman welcomes US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia's King Salman welcomes US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh

Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces also took part in the operation, close to the border between the two countries.

A commander in the Syrian pro-government military alliance said, quoted by Reuters: "The last stronghold of Daesh (Islamic State), Albu Kamal, is free of the Daesh organisation".

The capture of the town ends Islamic State's era of territorial rule over the so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across Iraq and Syria and in which millions suffered under its hardline, repressive strictures.

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.

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Later Syrian state TV said Albu Kamal had been "liberated".

Meanwhile, Syrian army units have reached Iraqi government stationed along the border of the town.

In the central region of Homs IS is being squeezed by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and their Russian backers as it struggles to maintain its grip on a few small areas. Last month they captured IS's self-styled capital, Raqqa.

Among the occupied areas still under the Islamic State's control are a group of towns that are located along the Euphrates River Valley; they include Al-'Asharah, Abu Hammam, Hajeen, Al-Jala', and Sousah.

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