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Final IS bastion in Syria has fallen, claim White House, Syrian Democratic Forces

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Washington, March 23: In a major announcement, the White House has said that all territories held by the Islamic State (IS) in Syria have been eliminated. US President Donald Trump also called the extremist group "losers and barely breathing".

Final IS bastion in Syria has fallen, claim White House, Syrian Democratic Forces

"Just over two years ago, ISIS was considered one of the gravest threats to the future of the Middle East-and to the peace and security of the free world. Now, the self-declared caliphate has been obliterated off the map. Literally," the White House said in a tweet on Friday, March 22.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also announced on Saturday, March 23, that the IS has lost its final stronghold in the war-ravaged nation, and that brought to an end the so-called caliphate declared by the outfit five years ago. The SDF also claimed to have fully liberated the town of Baghouz in Syria's eastern part.

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"Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100% territorial defeat of ISIS. On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible," tweeted Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF press office.

The IS had controlled huge chunks of territory stretching from western Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. The IS was on the retreat in Iraq and the final battle took place over the past many weeks around Baghouz on the banks of the Euphrates River.

A coalition of Kurdish and Arab soldiers backed by the US-led western forces launched the final assault on the IS stronghold early last month.

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