Hezbollah media unit: Islamic State leader reported in Syrian town

Trump has inherited America's vexed legacy in Iraq

Iraqi security forces battling Islamic State (IS) militants on Saturday freed a town and nine villages near the IS-held city of Rawa, the Iraqi military said. A senior Iraqi army commander told AFP that his forces shot dead four IS members who had tried to cross into Iraq, where the group holds the small town of Rawa, near the border.

The Euphrates valley town of Rawa and nearby villages were bypassed by government troops and allied militia when they retook the border town of Al-Qaim last week.

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.

The recapture of the Rawa pocket would mark the final battleground defeat of Daesh in Iraq and sound the death knell of the sprawling "caliphate" the group declared in 2014 over a swathe of Iraq and Syria the size of Britain.




On November 9, the Syrian army said in a statement that it had "liberated" Al-Bukamal, the last urban IS-stronghold in Syria.

The Syrian Central Military Media says that, as Syrian troops and their allies conducted search operations in Boukamal, they "got the information" that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might be "in one of the pockets" in the town.

"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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