Islamic State militants regained control of Albu Kamal, their last stronghold in Syria, after Iranian-backed militias who claimed to have captured the city a few days earlier were ambushed and forced to retreat, tribal leaders, residents and a war monitor said on Monday.

Fighters from Lebanese Shia Hezbollah in Syria who joined forces with Iraqi Shia fighters crossing the border into Syria were taken by surprise by militants hiding inside tunnels in the heart of the city they said they had taken on Wednesday, they said.

The Shia fighters had launched a ground offensive on the city, in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province where the Euphrates river meets, after months of mainly heavy Russian bombardment against the city that killed dozens of civilians and caused widespread destruction.



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