DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:45 A.M.) – With the battle for Raqqa entering its 109th day, a small Islamic State garrison continues to resist the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) whose troops have cleared most of the city centre, and effectively seized over 90% of ISIS’ self-declared capital.
According to a military source close to Al-Masdar News, clashes are especially fierce in the Hena, Nahda and Amin districts while YPG-led forces are trying to secure the Al-Nayim and Dele crossroads along with the contested Hitin cemetery.
On Friday alone, a total of 17 ISIS militants were neutralized while four machine-gun manned pickup trucks were destroyed. The death toll included a suicide bomber who tried to reach SDF forwards units by motorcycle.
On the other hand, the SDF sustained at least 5 casualties.
Meanwhile, Kurdish sappers disabled 70 booby traps and mines while US warplanes intensified their sorties over the ISIS-held northern suburbs.
With most of the elite ISIS fighting force killed in earlier stages of the battle, only a couple hundred jihadist fighters remain battle-ready, many of whom are crippled by skirmishes or airstrikes.
ISIS commanders are said to have set up a last stand around the Al-Amin district which they hope to transform into an impregnable stronghold.
Not long ago, ISIS released a lengthy propaganda video covering the battle of Raqqa.