> Islamic State has lost one of its last footholds in Iraq. Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi says the district of Al Qaim was taken back Friday. Thanks to push by a mix of units from the army and Counter Terror Services, plus Sunni tribal fighters and militias backed by Iran.
Losing Al Qaim leaves just the village of Rawah down the Euphrates River under militant control, and across the border in Syria, more setbacks for IS earlier in the day. Government forces declared victory in the city of Deir ez-Zor, a town that had been under siege for years until the Syrian army began trying to reclaim it in September, and one of the militants' few strongholds left in that country.
US officials estimate around 1,500 Islamic state fighters are left in the area. Syrian forces are now about 40 kilometers away from Al-Bukamal, across the border from Al Qaim in Iraq, and are preparing for a final confrontation.