The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Wednesday its campaign to capture Raqqa from ISIS was in its final stages and its fighters had seized 80 percent of the city.
In its fight against a separate operation waged by the Syrian army and its allies, ISIS has collapsed along the west bank of the Euphrates downstream of Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.
ISIS has lost swathes of territory in Syria this year, attacked from the north by the SDF and from the west by the Syrian army, which has pushed it back across the desert to its last strongholds in the Euphrates valley.
The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, launched its offensive on the group in Raqqa city in June, backed by US-led air strikes and special forces on the ground. The city had served as ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria.
In a statement on Wednesday, the SDF said it had opened a new front against ISIS on the northern edge of Raqqa. This was “a feature of the final stages of the Euphrates Wrath campaign, which is nearing its end”.
“We can say that 80 percent of the city of Raqqa has been liberated,” the statement said.
An SDF media official said the main obstacles facing the alliance in Raqqa are avoiding civilian casualties and a high concentration of mines. He estimated that 700 to 1,000 ISIS fighters remain in the city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that ISIS now controls only 5 percent of the city and its remaining militants there have nearly run out of food and munitions.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر