IS Tightens Grip On Iraq-Syria Border

The ancient city of Palmyra lies on a strategic route through the desert.

The ancient city of Palmyra lies on a strategic route through the desert.

The ancient city of Palmyra lies on a strategic route through the desert.

The Islamic State group consolidated it’s control of the Iraq-Syria border Friday after capturing an Iraqi, provincial capital and a famed Syrian heritage site in an offensive that has forced a review of US strategy. The jihadists, who now control roughly half of Syria, reinforced their self declared transfrontier “caliphate” by seizing Syria’s Al-Tanaf crossing on the Damascus-Baghdad highway late Thursday. The jihadists surge, which has also seen it take Anbar capital Ramadi and the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in the past week, comes despite eight months of US-led air strikes. It has sparked an exodus of tens of thousands of civilians in both countries and raised fears IS will repeat at Palmyra the destruction it had already wreaked at ancient sites in Iraq’s Nimrud and Mosul. The United Nations said Friday at least 55,000 people had fled Ramadi alone since mid-May. President Barack Obama has played down the IS advance as a tactical “setback” and denied the US-led coalition was “losing” to IS. But French President François Hollande said the world must act to stop the extremists.

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Chukwunonso Azinge is a Public health parasitologist whose variety of intrests ranges from international news reportage, writing articles on current world issues and of course football. Follow me on Twitter @azingelfc and on Facebook- Nonso 'King Kenny' Azinge.

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