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Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Hezbollah media unit: Islamic State leader reported in Syrian town

Hezbollah media unit: Islamic State leader reported in Syrian town

With Iraqi, Syrian and Kurdish forces encroaching upon the Islamic State heartland from all flanks, ISIS is reportedly suffering from a huge shortage of militants willing to fight for the self-declared caliphate, rendering it impossible for the hardline group to turn the tides on the battlefield.

Two infantry divisions and Sunni tribal forces are participating in the offensive to recapture Rawa, a small town on the bank of the Euphrates, and its surrounding areas along the border with Syria.

Iraqi commander Abdelamir Yarallah said the town of Rumana and 10 other nearby villages were liberated from IS on November 11.

Rumana is on the north side of the Euphrates just across from Al Qaim, while the small town of Rawa lies downstream.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and Omar Abu Laila, a Europe-based opposition activist, however, denied the report that al-Baghdadi is in Boukamal.

The forces and their allies were still fighting ISIS in desert areas near Albu Kamal, the last town the militant group had held in Syria.

The capture of the group's last urban stronghold had always looked to be a matter of days after Syrian forces last week retook provincial capital Deir Ezzor and Iraqi forces reconquered Albu Kamal's twin town of Al-Qaim just over the border.

"Iraq has lost $100 billion in the anti-Daesh war, but we have achieved success in three battles; namely liberating the land, maintaining Iraq's unity and standing up to the threats", Abadi said during a speech, using the Arabic name for ISIL.

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