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Rebels capture last IS stronghold near Turkey

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Damascus: The Turkey-backed Syrian rebels captured the city of Jarablus in northern Syria on Wednesday, dislodging the Islamic State (IS) from their last stronghold on the Syrian-Turkish borders, a monitor group reported.

The Syrian rebels backed by Turkish tanks and special forces, as well as air cover by the US-led anti-terror coalition, stormed Jarablus, after crossing into that border city from Turkey at dawn Wednesday, Xinhua quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

The Britain-based watchdog group said the Syrian rebels captured the city without mentionable resistance from the IS, which had withdrawn most of its fighters from the city, days before the Wednesday campaign.

The Observatory said the IS sent fighters from the city to the northern city of Bab in Aleppo and the al-Raqqa province.

The rebels are not combing the city, as IS sleeping cells are still hiding in that area, the last IS foothold on the borders with Turkey.

With Jarablus now out of hands, the IS lost all routes toward the Turkish borders, but still had access to border towns between Syria and Iraq.

–IANS

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