US-backed Syrian fighters claim half of al-Raqqa from Islamic State



BEIRUT (dpa) - The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have expelled the Islamic State from half of al-Raqqa as it fights to drive the extremists from their de-facto capital in Syria, an official in the US-backed group said Thursday.
"Our forces have liberated about 50 per cent of al-Raqqa," Mustapha Bali, the SDF spokesman, told dpa.



He added that SDF fighters are advancing on the city's major Panaroma Square.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, confirmed the SDF breakthrough.
"The SDF advance has been made despite heavy resistance from Daesh," the observatory head, Rami Abdel-Rahman, said, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
On June 6, the SDF forces entered al-Raqqa after months of battling Islamic State militants outside the north-eastern city.
The United Nations estimates that up to 50,000 people are still trapped inside the city that has been under Islamic State control since 2014.
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Friday, July 28th 2017
dpa
           


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