US-backed Forces Breach Raqqa Old City in Fight Against Daesh

US-backed Forces Breach Raqqa Old City in Fight Against Daesh
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Published July 4th, 2017 - 10:00 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces walks in the western outskirts of Raqqa on June 27, 2017, after the area was seized from the jihadists. (Delil Souleiman/AFP)
A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces walks in the western outskirts of Raqqa on June 27, 2017, after the area was seized from the jihadists. (Delil Souleiman/AFP)

US-backed forces have breached the Old City in al-Raqqa, the Islamic State terrorist group's de facto capital in Syria, US Central Command said early Tuesday.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had opened two small gaps in the Rafiqah Wall that surrounds the Old City on Monday, despite "heavy resistance" from Islamic State fighters, the command said.

It said the gaps meant forces had avoided going in via breaks already in the wall, where Islamic State fighters had planted mines and coalition forces likely would have been targeted by snipers and fire from heavy machine guns.

The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, said last week it had completely encircled the city and cut off the Islamic State militants' last remaining escape route. Around 4,000 Islamic State fighters are thought to still be inside.

The SDF launched the operation to retake al-Raqqa in November. Islamic State had seized the city in 2014.

© 2017 dpa GmbH

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