The Islamic State group no longer has a presence in Syria’s Aleppo province after withdrawing from a series of villages where regime forces were advancing, a monitor said on Friday.
‘ISIS withdrew from 17 towns and villages and is now effectively outside of Aleppo province,’ according to British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It comes as US-backed Syrian fighters seized the last road into ISIS’s de facto capital Raqqa, in Syria, after neighbouring Iraq declared ‘the end of the fake jihadi state’ in its war-torn nation.
Syrian Democratic Forces are now in control of all high-speed routes into Raqqa, captured by ISIS in 2013, from the south, a spokesman for the US-led coalition confirmed.
It was yet another major setback for ISIS which declared its ‘caliphate’ straddling Syria and Iraq three years ago, but has since lost most of its territory.
Only this week Iraqi forces recaptured an iconic mosque in Mosul, Iraq, the terror group’s last major stronghold in the country, prompting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to declare ‘the end of the fake jihadist state’.