Last Updated: 2017-11-10
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DAMASCUS, Nov 10 (NNN-Xinhua) -- The self-declared caliphate by the Daesh or (IS) is falling apart so fast, and their very existence is close to becoming a history or a catchy scenario for a Hollywood horror movie as the terror-designated group becomes stripped of its major strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

In Syria, the group's large swathes of control started shrinking rapidly and they lost their de facto capital of Raqqa last month to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and this month they lost their major stronghold of Deir al-Zour city to the Russian-backed Syrian government forces.

The Syrian army continued to advance after wresting control over the capital city of Deir al-Zour province, capturing several areas to liberate finally the city of al-Bukamal, which was the last Daesh stronghold in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border.

The Syrian army captured al-Bukamal in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour province on Wednesday and officially declared its victory on Thursday.

In a statement Thursday, the army said the liberation of al-Bukamal constitutes a "strategic achievement and a base for eradicating remnants of the terrorist organizations with its various names along the Syrian territories."

"The liberation of the city is of great importance since it represents an announcement of the fall of IS terrorist organization project in the region, in general, and a collapse of the illusions of its sponsors and supporters to divide Syria," the statement said.

The army also hailed what it described as "the continuous coordination" between the Syrian and Iraqi armies," saying it has played a big role in clearing large swathes of the border area and in preventing the infiltration of militants across the border.

Such coordination between both forces is what made it possible for the army to swiftly strip Daesh of the city, as the Syrian forces and Iraqi troops met at the border on Wednesday and that's when the city was fully besieged before the declaration of full liberation on Thursday.

The Iraqi forces recently captured the city of al-Qaim, where there is a border crossing with Syria under the same name near al-Bukamal.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Thursday that the victory in al-Bukamal "is a victory for anyone fighting terrorism and an irrevocable downfall of the myths and illusions of Daesh."

The speaker of the Syrian parliament, Hamoudeh Sabagh, said the liberation of al-Bukamal has a strategic importance as it brought down the foreign-backed schemes to fragment Syria.

He referred to the U.S. as having a project to divide Syria by "planting terrorist cells" in the country.
Meanwhile, Sabagh hailed the Iraqi forces for liberating border areas between Syria and Iraq and securing roads between both countries.

He said the victory in al-Bukamal proves that the Syrian army is "at the height of his power."

After losing it, the militants have lost all of their strongholds in Syria, maintaining just a few pockets in different parts of Syria, mainly in northeastern and eastern parts.

A source based in Deir al-Zour told Xinhua on Thursday that the Daesh still holds areas in the desert and between the cities of al-Bukamal and al-Mayadeen in eastern Deir al-Zour as well as some towns on the northern bank of Euphrates River.

But no major strongholds are left, he said.

The total defeat of Daesh will help boost the political talks to resolve the crisis, analysts say. -- NNN-XINHUA