DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:10 P.M.) – Moments ago, the Iraqi Army officially entered the imperative city of Al-Qaim from its eastern gates after thrusting through the desert of western Anbar overnight, scoring a humongous advance along the M12 Highway that runs adjacent to the Euphrates River.
Although most of the city remains under Islamic State control for now, fierce clashes are unfolding as we speak with heavily armed elements of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division, Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Kata’ib Hezbollah going from door-to-door to detect and eliminate ISIS members.
Preliminary reports even suggest the Iraqi Army has liberated the Al-Qaim border crossing at the northwestern gates of the city, indicating a total collapse among ISIS ranks and possible tactical retreat.
Next up, the Iraqi Army and its allies must fully secure the city and expand a buffer-zone on either side of the border city to deter a potential ISIS counter-offensive.
Across the border, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) imposed full control of Deir Ezzor City on Friday morning after defeating the remaining ISIS garrison.