Lo­cal forces con­trol 45 per cent of Raqa

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Turkey’s NATO al­lies do not re­gard the YPG as a ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Al­ready in Au­gust 2016, Turkey launched a ground of­fen­sive into norther Syria to push back IS fighters and pre­vent the YPG forces link­ing up their dif­fer­ent zones of con­trol. The Kur­dish-Syr­ian al­liance bat­tling to re­cap­ture Raqa from the Is­lamic State group has now seized about 45 per cent of the ex­trem­ists’ Syria strong­hold, a top US of­fi­cial said on Fri­day.

The US-backed Syr­ian Dem- ocratic Forces mili­tia (SDF) be­gan a cam­paign to cap­ture Raqa from IS last year, slowly en­cir­cling the city be­fore break­ing into it for the first time in June. “As of to­day, the SDF has seized about 45 per cent [of Raqa],” said Brett McGurk, the se­nior US en­voy to the in­terna- tional coali­tion fight­ing IS in Iraq and Syria.

The re­cap­ture of Raqa would mark a ma­jor mile­stone in the three-year ef­fort to de­feat IS.

The ex­trem­ists were ousted from their main Iraqi bas­tion of Mo­sul last month.

(AFP)

A Syr­ian child, who fled from the Is­lamic State con­trolled city of Raqa, sits at a camp in the town of Tabqa, about 55km west of the Syr­ian city

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