Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL' group] almost reached the point of annihilation in Iraq and Syria after its last two substantial urban strongholds in both countries were captured by government and allied forces during operations which reduced the presence of the terror group to pockets of barren desert.
On Friday, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that government forces liberated the border town of al-Qaem in Anbar province.
The fresh gain means that Daesh terrorists in Iraq are now in control of just the smaller neighboring town of Rawa and surrounding pockets of barren desert along the Euphrates River.
Also on Friday, Syrian forces declared that they recaptured all of Deir Ezzor, noting that the city "was the headquarters of the organization's leadership, and in losing it, they lose their capacity to direct terrorist operations."
Syrian forces broke Daesh's three-year siege of government-held parts of Deir Ezzor after they entered the city in September.
Government forces are now about 40 km away from the eastern border town of AlBukamal, preparing for their final confrontation with remnants of the terrorist group.
Meanwhile, the twin losses on both sides of the frontier reduces the former self-proclaimed caliphate that once ruled over millions of people in a large swath of territory into a single Syrian border town, a village on a bank of the Euphrates in Iraq and some patches of nearby desert.
Officials on both sides of the border predict that they would not face fierce resistance in their final battle against Daesh, as many of the militants, who are already besieged from all directions, have started surrendering due to lack of supplies, destruction of all organizational elements of strength and a collapse in morale.
A Syrian military source told Reuters that once AlBukamal is liberated, "Daesh will be an organization that will cease to exist as a leadership structure."
"It will be tantamount to a group of scattered individuals, it will no longer be an organization with headquarters, with leadership places, with areas it controls," he said.
According to informed sources, Daesh has just a few thousand militants left on both sides of the border, many of whom are fleeing into the desert and hiding in an attempt to devolve back into an insurgent terrorist group.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team