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Ninety percent of Raqqa retaken from Islamic State, says US military

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.

By: Reuters | Washington | Published: October 17, 2017 11:13 pm
Islamic State has lost much of its territory in Syria and Iraq this year, including its most prized possession, Mosul 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. (AP 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. he 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.

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 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.

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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  1. Lok Lokk
    Oct 18, 2017 at 1:42 am
    Americans havent done anything in Syria. You are cut pasting an article from Reuters which is a western propaganda machine. Talking about one city is laughable.The Russian and Syrian military have wiped out ISIL from Syria and liberated key cities that were under siege for more than 3 years.Thanks to the Russians, Syria still has hope. Why dont you report on how Russia successfully wiped out ISIL? The Americans armed Al Nusra which is an Al Qaeda affiliate and is solely responsible for the madness happening in the middle east.Bring out the facts instead of hiding behind your American masters.
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    1. Lok Lokk
      Oct 18, 2017 at 1:36 am
      Forget about the US military.ISIL is a creation of the American intelligence apparatus so these shallow victories are an eyewash. Where is the reporting on the Russian military liberating 87 of Syria? The Russians came in and cleaned up the mess that the US created.Are you too afraid to report that? Are you so awestruck by American propaganda that its taboo to report anything Russian in the Indian media?
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      1. S
        Shafted mohammed
        Oct 18, 2017 at 12:46 am
        Take that Abu baker al baghdadi alive and then hang him on the city square for few days so that no one dares to this nonsense ever.
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        Adda