ISIL withdraws from last east Aleppo stronghold Mar 23, 2017 Malak Ali YemenExtra M.A. YemenExtra was informed that the Islamic State (ISIL) completely withdrew from their last east Aleppo stronghold: Deir Hafer. According to Al-Masdar News Agency, the Islamic State forces withdrew from Deir Hafer before being fully encircled this morning. In addition, the Syrian Arab Army has not yet entered Deir Hafer due to security concerns regarding the large presence of field mines. Syrian and Russian sappers are expected to begin demining Deir Hafer this evening. The liberation of Deir Hafer marks the first time in four years that the Syrian Arab Army has been in control of this strategic town in east Aleppo.