Hezbollah media unit: Islamic State leader reported in Syrian town

Iraqi forces launch offensive to retake Rawa town, last IS stronghold in country

Iraqi forces have recaptured a city and several villages from Islamic State (IS) militants on the same day Syrian opposition activists said IS regained control of the Syrian town of Al-Bukamal after fierce fighting with government troops.

Two Iraqi infantry divisions and Sunni tribal forces are carrying out the operation in Anbar province. A senior Iraqi army commander told AFP that his forces shot dead four IS members who had tried to cross into Iraq, where the group holds the small town of Rawa, near the border.

He later said they had "retaken Rumana and its bridge on the Euphrates" along with 10 other villages.

The Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network reported on Wednesday that Syrian army soldiers, backed by pro-government fighters from popular defense groups, had entered Boukamal.

Boston is experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures
Temperatures climb during the day Saturday but will remain well below-normal under mostly sunny skies, forecasts show . The deep freeze hit the Big Apple Friday night as the temperature bottomed out at a record-low 26 degrees.

Albu Kamal lies at the heart of what used to be the sprawling "caliphate" that IS declared in 2014 across swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights said on November 11 that Syrian government forces and their allies "are now between one to two kilometers from the city limits".

The capture of the group's last urban stronghold had always looked to be a matter of days after Syrian forces last week retook provincial capital Deir Ezzor and Iraqi forces reconquered Albu Kamal's twin town of Al-Qaim just over the border.

Against this backdrop, Abadi said on Saturday that losses from the war against ISIL has cost Iraq $100bn so far.

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