Florian Neuhof, Daily Beast: Now that the Battle for the ISIS Capital Raqqa Has Begun, How Does It End?
Allowing the defenders to flee will likely make it easier to take the city. But it will also flush ISIS fighters into the Syrian hinterland, and bolster their ranks elsewhere.
ERBIL, Iraq—The pretense of sovereignty over definable territory has been for the last three years central to the mystique of the so-called Islamic State, and that is now coming to an end. But the organization widely known as ISIS, or Daesh, is not.
The terror attacks it has claimed most recently in Britain and Iran are meant to be proof of that. But even on the arid battlefields of the Levant and Mesopotamia it is likely to persist.
On Tuesday, U.S.-backed forces launched their long-awaited assault on the group’s capital Raqqa, another hammer blow against the self-declared caliphate that is gradually being driven into remote areas of Syria and Iraq.
Kurdish and Arab fighters attacked the city from the east on Tuesday afternoon. The Kurdish-controlled militias, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, have surrounded Raqqa from the north, east and west in months of fighting. They have benefitted from heavy air support by the U.S.-led coalition, and from weapons and training supplied by the Americans.
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More News On The Battle For The Syrian City Of Raqqa
U.S.-backed forces seize Raqqa ruins; U.N. sees 'dire' situation -- Reuters
Raqqa Campaign Will Accelerate, U.S. Envoy Says -- US News and World Report/Reuters
US-Led Coalition Carries Out 17 Strikes Against Daesh Near Raqqa -- Sputnik
US-backed Syrian forces launch offensive to retake Raqqa from Isis -- The Guardian/AP
US-Backed Force Gains Ground on ISIS in Syria's Raqqa -- Military.com/AFP
US-backed forces launch bid to take Raqqa from ISIS -- CNN
US-backed Syrian Forces Advance in IS Stronghold Raqqa -- VOA
Battle for Raqqa: Seven things you need to know -- Tim Lister, CNN
Violence and displacement stalk children in Raqqa -- Relief Web
Gutfeld Breaks Down the Fight Against ISIS in Raqqa -- FOX News
Difficult battle for ISIS capital Raqqa begins -- PBS News Hour