The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have never been closer to the Islamic State capital after their military forces captured several key sites just a few kilometers northeast of the provincial capital of Raqqa on Saturday.
According to one Kurdish source, the SDF seized the Cotton Center and the nearby Prison Complex, effectively reaching the outskirts of the extremely fortified Division 17 military base.
Dozens of inmates were released from the prison facility while others were still held in custody by the Kurds for further questioning.
With heavy air support from the US-led coalition, Kurdish forces are now less than 4 kilometers from residential neighborhoods in Raqqa.
Nevertheless, several reports suggest that ISIS is gathering reinforcements from the Al-Bab and Palmyra regions to set up a new defensive line around the city.
According to the SDF leadership, its Euphrates Wrath offensive ultimately looks to capture Raqqa in what would be a devastating blow to the self-proclaimed caliphate. However, Turkey has also announced it will lead forces to seize Raqqa while the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) might also look to get involved.