DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:30 A.M.) – Amid new advances in rural Raqqa, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are now within striking distance of the last ISIS supply route from the jihadist mainland to its self-declared capital.

Following the liberation of a dozen villages over the previous 48 hours, the largely Kurdish SDF managed to impose full control over the village of Ath-Thadyayn southwest of Raqqa on Thursday, thus cementing its siege of a tiny ISIS pocket around the junction town of Al-Mansurah.

At least 19 ISIS insurgents were killed during the clashes while dozens of RPG’s and tons of ammunition were seized, Kurdish sources said.

If exploring pincer advances similar to previous stages of the Euphrates Wrath offensive, the SDF is expected to close off a 20 kilometer stretch of ISIS-held rural territory south of Raqqa before initiating the urban battle for the city itself.

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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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