DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:15 A.M.) – On Thursday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) cemented their siege of ISIS-held Raqqa after taking control of the last village on the southern Euphrates River bank of the city.

In an advance that seems to have sealed the fate of ISIS insurgents bogged down within their own capital, the US-backed SDF imposed full control over Al-Kamb after wrestling control of the neighboring villages of Sheikh al-Jimal and Kasrat Al-Faraj earlier this week.

Effectively, Kurdish troops have fully ringed Raqqa city, leaving them no escape route to the Islamic State mainland elsewhere in Syria and Iraq.

New pictures of SDF counter-insurgency operations in the provincial capital of Raqqa:


Meanwhile in Ayn Al-Arab (Kobane) on the border with Turkey, 216 Kurdish and Arab fighters joined the SDF on Thursday and will likely be deployed to Raqqa soon.

On the other hand, ISIS released a lengthy propaganda video covering events in Raqqa earlier this week while claiming to have retaken several residential areas on Thursday.

Click here for a full updated battle map of Syria.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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Deo Cass

This move is meant to cut off the Syrian Arab Army from Raqqa city proper. There are no ISIS fighters left in Raqqa city. All were re-deployed elsewhere to fight the Syrian Arab Army and that is why the US proxies of the SDF left the southern door open. If they truly wanted to encircle ISIS they would have done it before advancing inside the city proper as per military strategy rules.

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Flay the Daeshbags

crossing a river, where boating activity is easily visible?

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brdlip
Actually, leaving a withdrawal path to the enemy is a way to face less fierce resistence and to spare own soldier’s lives. That’s what SAA always does: 2 or 3 flanks garrisoned, pathway to flee left open. Only once it’s clear that the enemy is gonna fight indefinitely, then cut all paths to resupply and enact a fully sealed siege. There’s not a single “military rule” to besiege a town. Daesh to flee in Deir Ez Zor and defeat SAA down there is what Kurds and Americans really wanted? Possibly. But it’s your opinion, not a fact, backed by some… Read more »