ISIS faces defeat for the second time in a month: After the siege of Deir ez-Zor was broken, US-backed coalition forces captured most of the city of Raqqa and announced that the operation to topple ISIS’ last stronghold in Syria is in its “final stages”.
The battle for Raqqa | Archive Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
According to human rights groups in the country, US-backed coalition forces have captured 90 percent of the city of Raqqa, ISIS’ de-facto capital in Syria. This marks ISIS’ second defeat in the last month. Reports from Syria tell of ongoing battles between the Syrian Democratic Army and ISIS near the city center and north-east of the city, as well as heavy artillery shelling, special forces operations and air strikes in the area. The operation to free Raqqa from ISIS is “nearing its end,” representatives from the coalition said.
The SDF, the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces began its massive offensive against ISIS last June. About two weeks ago, ISIS’ siege in the eastern part of the city of Deir ez-Zor, in northeastern Syria, was finally lifted after three years by Hezbollah and Syrian forces.
Celebrations in the streets Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
The Syrian government’s television network reported the success of the operation, adding that their forces managed to make contact with the besieged soldiers in the western part of the city. President Assad praised the lifting of the blockade and according to the SANA news agency, the civilians released from the siege took to the streets in celebration.