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Iraqi forces seize key foothold from Islamic State: PM

Iraqi Prime MInister Haider al-Abadi says government forces have seized the town of al-Qaim from Islamic State, one of the last areas under the militants’ control in the country. Ryan Brooks reports.

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 a 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 vilage of Rawa down the Euphrates river under militant control.

Across the border in Syria, more setbacks for I.S. earlier in the day.

Government forces declared victory in the city of Deir al-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.

U.S. officials estimate around 1,500 Islamic State fighters are left in the area.

Syrian forces are now about 40 kilometers away from Albu Kamal across the border from al-Qaim in Iraq and preparing for a final confrontation.

By Xuseen Axmed

Former reporter and currently mareeg media representative in Somalia