.
.
.
.

US-backed fighters seize infamous Raqqa roundabout from ISIS

Published: Updated:

US-backed Syrian fighters on Monday said they gained complete control of an infamous Raqqa roundabout used by ISIS extremists for public beheadings and crucifixions.

The Syrian Democratic Forces said they had “totally liberated” the northern city’s Al-Naim roundabout, dubbed “Roundabout of Hell” by residents under ISIS’s three-year rule.

The capture followed fighting since Sunday near the roundabout, east of the municipal stadium still held by the extremists, the Arab-Kurdish alliance said in a statement.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said ISIS withdrew two weeks ago from the area but the SDF could not immediately take control because of land mines.

On Sunday, SDF fighter Hazem Kobane told AFP: “Our forces were combing Al-Naim... today. There was no one there.”

The SDF, backed by a US-led coalition, are on the verge of seizing Raqqa after having taken around 90 percent of ISIS’s former de facto Syrian capital.

Fighting late Monday continued near the city’s stadium and hospital, where 25 extremists surrendered and two suicide attacks failed, the SDF said.

Only around 300 IS fighters are believed to remain in the devastated city.