(AFP) The US-led coalition will begin a final push against ISIL Takfiri group on its Syrian stronghold of Raqa in the coming days French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday.
“Today, we can say that Raqa is surrounded and the battle will begin in the coming days,” he told France’s CNEWS television.
Raqa is one of two major strongholds of the ISIL along with the Iraqi city of Mosul, which Iraqi forces in October launched a massive operation to recapture.
“This will be a very hard battle but essential,” Le Drian said.
ISIL is under pressure from several directions in northern Syria, with Russia supporting the Syrian government forces on one front and Turkey providing air cover for Ankara-backed militants battling the Takfiris on another.