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Iraqi forces have reportedly launched an offensive to capture the last town under Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) control - the town of Rawa.

But on Saturday, troops backed by militia recruited among the region's Sunni Arab tribes "launched a major offensive to liberate Rumana and the Rawa area", General Abdelamir Yarallah said.

Meanwhile, SDF contingents operating on the Euphrates River axis southeast of Deir Ezzor City took control of Al-Lawaziyah and Al-Qusayr, two villages on the perimeter of ISIS' Al-Busayrah pocket.

IS has suffered a string of defeats at the hands of separate but simultaneous offensives in Iraq and Syria by the Russian-backed Syrian forces and allied militias as well as US -backed Iraqi and Syrian fighters.

"Troops are continuing their advance", Yarallah said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi during a visit to city of Karbala today said that Iraqi forces were launching an operation to push Daesh out of a patch on the western edge near the border with Syria.

The whereabouts of al-Baghdadi are not known and if he is killed or captured it would be another blow for the organization that has lost more than 90 per cent of lands it once controlled in Iraq and Syria where the group declared a caliphate in June 2014.

But the army and its allies are still fighting Islamic State in desert areas close to Albu Kamal near the border with Iraq, the Syrian army said on Thursday.


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