Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Is The Islamic State's Capital At Raqqa About To Fall?

The Atlantic: Syrian Rebels Close to Victory in Raqqa Offensive

The Syrian Democratic Forces could be days away from overtaking the ISIS stronghold.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the U.S., have captured a number of key neighborhoods near Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold in Syria, the group announced Monday. The announcement signals the progress of a larger offensive, launched last week, to overtake Raqqa from ISIS militants, who have maintained control of the city since 2014. In May, the Trump administration offered critical assistance by agreeing to arm and train members of the SDF’s primary Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

In the last few days, the SDF has succeeded in carrying out attacks to the north, east, and west. On Monday, the group captured the western neighborhood of al-Romaniya and a sugar factory complex in the northeast. On the same day, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that SDF had overtaken the industrial neighborhood of al-Sanaa, though fighting in the area continues. According to Ahmad Mohammed, an SDF media officer, the group has now reached the walls of the Old City, a neighborhood east of central Raqqa.

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More News On The Battle For The Islamic State Capital At Raqqa, Syria

Syrian-Democratic forces advance towards old Raqqa -- Al Arabiya
U.S.-backed fighters advance in Raqqa, Syria -- Yahoo News
U.S.-backed Syrian fighters reach old city walls in Islamic State-held Raqqa -- Reuters
Syria's SDF rebels capture parts of ISIL-held Raqqa -- Al Jazeera
SDF shells Raqqa City using heavy artillery and army aviation -- Iraqi News
On Syria fronts, U.S.-backed forces probe Raqqa defenses as Iran-allied fighters gain key foothold -- Washington post
Syrian Army Advances West of Raqqa: Hezbollah Military Media Unit -- Reuters
Thousands flee Raqqa as Syrian Democratic Forces reach old city walls -- The Times

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