Iraqi security forces deploy in Rawa, 281 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Osama Sami)
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Iraqi forces Friday captured the border town of Rawah, the last remaining town under Daesh control, signaling the collapse of the group's self-proclaimed caliphate.Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert on Daesh, said that after their loss of Rawa, the militants no longer exercised any real military or administrative power.Rawa was earlier bypassed in an offensive by the Iraqi army that resulted in the recapture of the strategic border town of Al-Qaim.In Syria, Daesh still holds around 25 percent of the countryside of Deir al-Zor province but is under attack both by government forces and U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters. In the border town of Albukamal, the Syrian army on Friday battled Daesh fighters who had mounted a surprise counterattack last week, pushing out government forces who had retaken it last month.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a new army offensive had successfully penetrated the town, with troops backed by Russian airstrikes advancing from the west, east and south.
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