Iranian-backed militias routed in last Syrian militant stronghold

20:52 EST 12 Nov 2017 | Yahoo News

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Islamic State militants regained control of Albu Kamal, their last stronghold in Syria, after Iranian-backed militias who claimed to have captured the city a few days earlier were ambushed and forced to retreat, tribal leaders, residents and a war monitor said on Monday. Fighters from Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah in Syria who joined forces with Iraqi Shi'ite fighters crossing the border into Syria were taken by surprise by militants hiding inside tunnels in the heart of the city they said they had taken on Wednesday, they said. The Shi'ite fighters had launched a ground offensive on the city, in Syria's eastern Deir al Zor province where the Euphrates river meets, after months of mainly heavy Russian bombardment against the city that killed dozens of civilians and caused widespread destruction.

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