Syria's army says its capture of the jihadists' last town of Albu Kamal in the country marks the collapse of Islamic State's self-declared caliphate.
(Arabic) AP - 4125078 / 1
"The liberation of Boukamal is of great importance because it is a declaration of the fall of this group's (IS) project in the region, generally, and the collapse of its supporters' illusions to divide it, control large parts of the Syria-Iraq border, and secure supply routes between the two countries."
Government troops earlier linked up with Iraqi forces at the border after taking the nearby city of al-Qaim.
The militant group already lost its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul in July, as well as Raqqa, its de facto capital in Syria, last month.
However, there are still lingering concerns as the fate of the group's last commanders is still unknown, especially that of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whose last appearance was in an audio recording in September.
The chief of NATO has also warned that the loss of territory does not mean an end to lone-wolf attacks on civilians that IS supporters have mounted around the world.
- Reuters Edit No4201
"Our work is not done, as ISIS loses territory they may seek to prove their relevance by stepping up terrorist attacks in the region and beyond, including here in Europe. So we must stay vigilant, we must stay engaged, and we must work together to counter new challenges."
Neighboring countries, such as Turkey, Egypt and Libya, will also be on high alert..
as militants who have fled could make their way into those countries and start a new insurgency.
Ro Aram, Arirang News.