Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – It has emerged in the past hours that the Islamic State militia have now taken the last border point between Syria and Iraq from control of the government in Damascus. The London based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (Sohr), reported this latest conquest based on information from sources on the ground.
Thus, the Jihadists have achieved yet another military success following the fall of Palmyra, Unesco World Heritage Site and strategic crossroads between the capital and the east of the country.
Commenting on the latest developments of the conflict, the US government stresses that the fight against the Islamic state is proving to be "increasingly difficult challenge " to deal with.
Local sources quoted by Sohr confirm that, following the advance of the militias, government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad fled the border area of al-Tanf, known as al-Waleed in Iraq. Now the Islamic state (IS) controls "over 95 thousand square kilometers" of Syrian territory, which constitutes 50% of the whole country. The militias dominate the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa and have built up a strong presence in Hasakeh, Aleppo, Homs and Hama.
However, according to experts and analysts it must be emphasized that many of these territories in the hands of IS are not of significant importance at a strategic level.
As well as in Syria, the so-called "caliphate" of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has achieved several military successes in neighboring Iraq, with the recent capture of Ramadi after weeks of intense fighting. For the international coalition led by Washington these are significant "backward steps " in the military campaign against IS. However, according to President Barack Obama's war "it is not yet lost."
Over the last two days the US Air Force and its partners in the anti-caliphate alliance have launched at least 18 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. Eight of these were aimed tactical units on Syrian territory, as well as strategic locations near Al Hasakah, Aleppo, Raqqa and Kobanî.