The brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has seized the last of the border crossings between Syria and Iraq held by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Regime forces were left with no choice but to retreat from the border crossing known as al-Tanf in Syria and al-Waleed in Iraq, reports BBC citing the Observatory.
The seizure of the crossing is not only a strategic boon for the terrorist organization allowing it to more effectively transfer its resources and supplies between its forces in Syria and Iraq, but also signifies how ISIS is continuing to solidify and expand its hold on Syria.
Just on Thursday ISIS terrorists conquered Palmyra, an ancient city with archaeological artifacts feared to now be in danger of destruction.
According to the Observatory, ISIS now controls "more than 95,000 sq km (36,679 sq miles)" in Syria, which constitutes no less than half of the country's entire territory.
ISIS's hold includes Deir al-Zour and Raqqa provinces, and the group likewise has a strong grasp in Hasakeh, Aleppo, Homs and Hama.
In neighboring Iraq, ISIS forces have been conquering new ground as well, seizing the strategic city of Ramadi in Anbar province on Sunday after a three-day blitz.
Despite the massive gains made by ISIS in spite of the US-led coalition airstrikes against them, US President Barack Obama struck a defiant tone on Thursday, saying, "I don't think we're losing."
"There's no doubt there was a tactical setback, although Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time," Obama said of the loss of the strategic city.