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People's Daily Online

U.S.-backed forces capture southern part of Syria's Raqqa from IS

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 21:05, August 01, 2017

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the southern part of Syria's northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, a monitor group reported on Tuesday.

The Kurdish-led SDF forces in the western and eastern parts of Raqqa met in the southern part of the city, becoming in control of the entire southern section, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The UK-based watchdog group said the southern section is located on the northern bank of the Euphrates River.

It added that the new progress comes after the SDF captured the neighborhood of Nazelt Shihadeh on Monday and its progress in the Hisham Bin Abdul-Malek neighborhood, following battles with the IS militants.

The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian fighters, have made notable gains since unleashing a wide-scale offensive, with the backing of the US, against Raqqa, two months ago.

In previous reports, the Observatory, which says it relies on a network of activists on the ground, said the IS control in Raqqa had shrunk to 10 percent due to the progress of the SDF inside the city and the Russian-backed Syrian army in the countryside of Raqqa.

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