Friday, June 30, 2017

The Battle For The Syrian City of Raqqa -- News Updates June 30, 2017

Radio Free Europe: U.S.-Backed Syrian Forces Encircle Islamic State In Raqqa Stronghold

U.S.-backed forces have completely encircled the Islamic State extremist group's self-proclaimed capital in northern Syria after cutting off the last remaining escape route, a monitoring group and military officials said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, "have completely surrounded and besieged the Islamist militants inside Al-Raqqa city from all sides," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said late on June 29.

The gains for anti-IS forces in Syria came as Iraqi forces announced the recapture of an iconic mosque in IS's last major Iraqi bastion Mosul, prompting Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to declare "the end" of the "fake" extremist state.

Raqqa has been under IS control since 2014.

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The Battle For The Syrian City of Raqqa -- News Updates June 30, 2017

Islamic State counter attack causes fierce clashes in Syria's Raqqa -- Reuters
ISIS counter attack causes fierce clashes in Syria’s Raqqa -- Straits Times
Daesh retakes Raqqa district from US-backed forces: monitor -- TRT
Allies cut ISIS escape routes from Raqqa -- The Australian
Syria war: US-backed forces 'surround IS in Raqqa' -- BBC
Fighters surround ISIS-controlled Raqqa in Syria, commander says -- CNN
US-backed Syrian forces 'surround' ISIL in Raqqa -- Al Jazeera
Marine Corps artillery support vital as the fight for Raqqa intensifies --Military Times
US envoy on the battle to retake ISIS's capital: “They will die here in Syria” -- Jennifer Williams, VOX
Seven Days, a Gun, and a Prayer: The Pentagon's Plan to Pacify Raqqa --Foreign Policy

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