BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:30 P.M.) – The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have managed to seize nearly half of Raqqa City after more than a month of being on the offensive, the U.S. Coalition spokesperson claimed on Thursday, as quoted by ARA News Agency.
“Today marks day 53 of operations to defeat ISIS in Raqqa. About 45 percent of the city is under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF have cleared about nine square miles of terrain this past week as they fought against stiff, sporadic resistance from ISIS entrenched in the city,” said Colonel Ryan Dillon, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman.
“On the western axis, the SDF took control of a series of multi-story buildings that allowed them to provide over-watch and push further into the city’s center,” he added.
“On the eastern axis, the SDF made incremental gains south of the main road that runs east to west in the city,” Col. Dillon said.
“Currently, the distance between the east and west SDF axes is less than a half a mile. And once they link up, the SDF will have full control of southern Raqqa. And south of the Euphrates River, the SDF continue to isolate Raqqa and reinforce their positions,” he concluded.
The SDF has encircled the city and left little space for the Islamic State militants to maneuver around Raqqa, making the battle especially hard for the terrorist group.