09 Oct '17, 6pm

US-backed Syrian fighters preparing for final push in Raqqa

US-backed Syrian fighters preparing for final push in Raqqa

BEIRUT — U.S.-backed fighters in northern Syria are preparing for a final offensive on neighborhoods still held by the Islamic State group in the city of Raqqa, a spokesman for the group said Monday. A U.S. official affirmed that the battle for Raqqa is now approaching its last phase. Mustafa Bali of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces told The Associated Press that the battle is expected to last between seven to 10 days. The extremists still have hundreds of fighters in the city that they once declared as their de facto capital. The Kurdish-led forces launched an offensive against ISIS in Raqqa in early June, under the cover of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition. The Kurdish-led group has captured 80 percent of the city, leaving ISIS in control of parts of the Raqqa’s center and north. “The Syrian Democratic Forces are reinforcing positions ahead of the final attac...

Full article: https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2017/10/09/us-b...

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