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ISIL loses al-Qaim in Iraq and Deir Az Zor in Syria

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 03/11/2017
ISIL fighters now only control a chunk of territory in Iraq's northwest [AP] © Provided by Al Jazeera ISIL fighters now only control a chunk of territory in Iraq's northwest [AP]

ISIL has lost further ground in Iraq and Syria as the armies of both countries and the Syrian opposition squeeze its forces.

Late on Friday, Haider al-Abadi, Iraq's prime minister, announced the recapture of al-Qaim, the group's last stronghold in Iraq.

Iraqi forces took full control of the city on the Syrian border after seizing the last border crossing held by ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.

They have been getting help from Sunni tribal fighters and the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a Shia paramilitary force.

Just five months ago, ISIL still controlled vast expanses of territory, including major cities, on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border.

Since then, it has been driven out of Mosul in Iraq and its self-declared capital Raqqa and Deir Az Zor in Syria.

The fighters now only control a chunk of territory up in Iraq's northwest, along the Syrian border.

Earlier on Friday, Syria's army said it was in control of the eastern city of Deir Az Zor.

Deir Az Zor is the capital of an oil-rich region that was crucial for ISIL's finances.

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