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> Fresh setbacks for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The Syrian government declaring victory over the militant group in the city of
] on Friday, robbing the jihadists of one of their few remaining strongholds in the country. IS had besieged a government enclave in the town for years until an army advance relieved it in early September starting a battle for jihadist held neighborhoods.
The army, backed by Russian bombers, Iranian and Shiite militias, is now advancing to the last significant town held by IS, located on the western bank of the Euphrates. Meanwhile, just across the border in Iraq, joint operations command forces have entered Al Khayyam, one of the last remaining territories held by the group in that country.
The Iraqi army, Sunni tribal militia, and Iran-backed forces among those fighting to recapture Al Khayyam and neighboring Rawah. US officials estimating around 1,500 Islamic State fighters still remain in the immediate vicinity. Iraq's prime minister telling IS that their time is up, saying members of the group now have to choose between death and surrender.