A pair of dusty villages in the Syrian desert are all that remain of the vast expanse of territory the Islamic State once called its caliphate, and the complete territorial defeat of the militant group appears to be imminent, according to US and Kurdish officials.
A few hundred of some of the most die-hard Islamic State fighters are making their last stand in the villages of Marashida and Baghuz Fawqani on the banks of the Euphrates River, a few kilometres from the Iraqi border in southeastern Syria.
With the Syrian Army on the other side of the river, a group that once controlled an area the size of Britain is pinned down by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in a dot of land measuring 15 square kilometres.
This is a significant victory. Their territory has shrunk from 250,000 square kms to just 15.
Of course the defeat of ISIL does not mean the end of Islamist terrorism. Absolutely not. But perfect is the enemy of good.
ISIS was a dangerous rogue state that was barbaric and run along 9th century theocratic lines. It had its own Government, and oil, and army and was a major beacon and safe haven for terrorists. It is now basically gone.
Terrorists will still hide in caves, and plan and plot via the Internet. But they won’t have 250,000 square kms of territory to give them impunity to hide behind any more.