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US military: 90% of Raqqa retaken from Daesh

Civilian, who fled Raqqa, arrive in Jarabulus, Syria on May 26, 2017. Civilians living around Raqqa flee to opposition controlled safe zones due to clashes between Daesh and PYD/ PKK terrorist organisations. [Hüseyin Nasır/Anadolu Agency]
Civilians who fled Raqqa, arrive in Jarabulus, Syria on May 26, 2017. Civilians living around Raqqa flee to opposition controlled safe zones due to clashes with Daesh and other terrorist organisations. [Hüseyin Nasır/Anadolu Agency, file photo]

The US military said on Tuesday that it could only confirm that about 90 percent of the Syrian city of Raqqa had been retaken from Islamic State militants, even as US-backed forces declared victory there.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, said the fighting was over and it was clearing Raqqa’s stadium of mines and any remaining militants.

A formal declaration of victory in Raqqa, Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, will soon be made once the city has been cleared of mines and any possible Islamic State sleeper cells, said SDF spokesman Talal Selo.

The fall of Raqqa, where Islamic State staged euphoric parades after its string of lightning victories in 2014, is a potent symbol of the jihadist movement’s collapsing fortunes.

Read: Defeat of Daesh in Raqqa may herald wider struggle for US

Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State, said that about 100 fighters still remained in Raqqa and he expected the SDF to face resistance from remnants of the militant group.

“We are aware of the reports that ISIS has been defeated in Raqqa,” Dillon said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

“However, clearance operations continue and we expect our Syrian Democratic Force partners to hit pockets of resistance as the final parts of the city is cleared,” Dillon said.

#Raqqa

He said that in the past few days, about 1,300 civilians had been “assisted to safety” by the SDF and about 350 Islamic State fighters had surrendered in Raqqa.

Even as the SDF made gains in Raqqa, Dillon said Islamic State fighters still remained in the middle Euphrates River valley.

Islamic State has lost much of its territory in Syria and Iraq this year, including its most prized possession, Mosul. In Syria, it has been forced back into a strip of the Euphrates valley and surrounding desert.

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  • nooraza othman

    Don’t be fooled by the rogue TERRORIST US/Kurdish TERRORIST SDF!

    This is so evil! NA*O-US/Isra*l and its PKK-led SDF Kurdish TERRORISTS completely destroyed the city under the pretext of fighting their MOSSAD/CIA-created IS/Daesh – a typical cunning MO, where then claim it as abandoned city/properties towards their so-called independent ‘Kurdistan’ later on in Syria – just like in Iraq everwhere!

    That’s why they can provide so-called safe passage to their IS collaborators, who are probably being smuggled elsewhere now!

    See – Despite Syrian Governments Attempts to Unify Country US-backed Kurdish SDF Persist with Land Theft, by Sarah Abed, The
    Rabbit Hole (sarahabedcom), Posted on October 8, 2017, at – The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence, By Stephen Gowans, What’s Left, July 11, 2017; at – Kirkuk to be made capital of so-called Kurdistan: Declaring oil-rich Kirkuk as the capital of so-called Kurdistan and forming a joint army with PKK terrorists were discussed during a meeting attended by American and Israeli officials, with the ultimate aim of dividing Iraq, Editor/Internet, Yeni Şafak; September 26, 2017; at – Barzani supports
    Daesh established by US, Israel: An Iraqi intelligence document dated from 2001 establishes that CIA and Mossad established the core of Daesh and Barzani supported this and met with Bernard Henry Levy, Editor/Internet ,Yeni Şafak, October 05, 2017; at – Kurdish PKK and YPG’s Hidden Notorious Crimes: Kidnapping, Murder, and Narcotics Trafficking, By Sarah Abed, The Rabbit Hole,
    September 24, 2017; at – Ongoing Kurdish Terror Attacks Against Aramean Christians in Syria, World Council of Arameans (Syriacs); and at – Kurds Annexing Assyrian Lands in Iraq, By Matthew Barber, AINA News Posted 2017-10-01.

    • nooraza othman

      Hence,Turkey must defeat the NA*O-US/ISra*l-backed PKK-led SDF/YPG Kurdish TERRORISTS! Or

      they will do the same in Syria with so-called independent ‘Kurdistan’ like in Iraq and later on marches on to Turkey and Iran.

  • nooraza othman

    And the rogue Zio pro-Kurdish Western MSM/AJaz*ra are also celebrating like maniacs with the NA*O-US/ISra*l SDF Kurdish TERRORISTS victory over Syria – and also EXPLOITING so-called female Kurdish fighters (now even EXPLOITING Kurdish Yazidi girls) in photo op, and Yazidi victims to portray falsely the SDF Kurdish TERRORISTS as if ‘heroes’!