BEIRUT — Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants withdrew Thursday from their last stronghold in Syria, a strategic town near the border with Iraq, following a government offensive that has effectively left the extremist group’s fighters dispersed in villages and small towns in the desert.
The Syrian military declared the town liberated after intense battles that killed a large number of militants, including leaders. The military said they were still chasing other ISIS militants in different directions in the desert.
“The liberation of Boukamal is of great importance because it is a declaration of the fall of this group’s project in the region generally and the collapse of its supporters’ illusions to divide it, control large parts of the Syria-Iraq borders and secure supply routes between the two countries,” said Army spokesman Gen. Ali Mayhoub in a televised statement.
Syrian pro-government media said Syrian troops had clashed with remnants of ISIS in the town after they entered it late Wednesday. On Thursday, they reported the town clear of ISIS fighters.[contentcards url=”https://www.cbsnews.com/news/boukamal-isis-syria-extremists-chased-from-last-iraq-border-town/” target=”_blank”]