Islamic State militants have seized the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq, a Syrian activist group said, according to BBC News.
Government forces withdrew from al-Tanf – known as al-Waleed in Iraq – crossing as IS advanced, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.
The loss of al-Tanf to IS follows the group’s takeover of the ancient city of Palmyra on Thursday, May 21.
The U.S. says that fighting the militants will be a “difficult challenge”.
Islamic State now controls “more than 95,000 sq km (36,679 sq miles)” of Syria, which is 50% of the country’s entire territory, the SOHR said.
The militants dominate the provinces of Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa and have a strong presence in Hasakeh, Aleppo, Homs and Hama. However, correspondents say there are large areas under IS control in the east that are not very significant strategically.