Isis claims to have killed 68 Iraqi soldiers in a suicide bombing in al-Furat, a province in western Iraq near the border with Syria, according to a message intercepted by the SITE Intelligence Group. The group reported that their fighters stormed barracks in the Jamouna area, near al-Tanaf in Syria, on Monday 7 August.

They launched the attack from three directions and clashed with Iraqi troops, according to their message. Isis said 68 Iraqi soldiers were killed in the suicide bombing and fighting that followed. Six of the military barracks were set on fire, seven vehicles were destroyed and one soldier was taken hostage, the group claims.

"The attack began with a martyrdom-seeking operation carried out by the brother Abu Hassan al-Iraqi – may Allah accept him – and followed with storming the barracks of the apostates and clashing with them using different weapons," the message, translated by SITE, reads.

"It resulted in killing 68 apostates and taking an element prisoner, and destroying 7 vehicles and disabling a tank, and burning 6 barracks. Allah granted His worshippers the monotheists 3 four-wheel drive vehicles equipped with machine guns, rocket launchers, and various weapons and ammunition as spoils, and unto Allah is all praise for His granting of success."

Over the weekend, the US said it had managed to retake almost a third of Isis' territory in Iraq and Syria. Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat Isis, said President Trump's strategy had "dramatically accelerated" the campaign to destroy Isis in the region.

"Nearly 30% of all the territory that has been retaken from ISIS—about 20,000 square kilometres—has actually happened in the last six months," he said.

McGurk explained that this was partly due to Trump's decision to delegate the mission to battlefield commanders and the rapid growth of the anti-Isis coalition, which now consists of 73 members—69 countries and four international organisations.

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