Syrian army retakes Albu Kamal from ISIL
The Syrian army and loyalist militiamen on Nov. 19 retook full control of Albu Kamal from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a military source said, ousting the jihadists from their last urban stronghold in Syria.
Albu Kamal has changed hands several times, with government forces announcing the capture of the town near the Iraqi border earlier this month but losing it to a blistering ISIL counter-attack a week ago.
“Syrian troops and allied forces took full control of Albu Kamal, and are removing mines and explosives left by ISIL,” the military source in Deir Ezzor told AFP yesterday. “ISIL put up fierce resistance and tried to use explosives and suicide bombers, but besieging the city allowed the army to clinch the offensive and take full control of the city,” the source added.
State news agency SANA also reported the advance in Albu Kamal, saying the “Syrian army and its allies eliminated the last Daesh [ISIL] terrorist pocket in the town.”
A string of territorial defeats across northern and eastern Syria had left Albu Kamal as the last significant Syrian town held by ISIL.
Syria’s army announced on Nov. 9 it had ousted ISIL from the town, but the jihadists launched a lightning offensive and retook it.
A week later, the army and allied Iraqi, Lebanese, and Iranian fighters broke back into Albu Kamal and steadily advanced through the town.