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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US-backed militants say have taken 'full control' of Raqqah

Iran Press TV

Tue Oct 17, 2017 09:08AM

The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a ragtag grouping of militants backed by the United States, says it has fully taken control of Syria's northern city of Raqqah from Takfiri Daesh terrorists.

"Everything is finished in Raqqah, our forces have taken full control of Raqqah," SDF spokesman Talal Sello told AFP.

"The military operations in Raqqah have finished, but there are clearing operations now under way to uncover any sleeper cells there might be and remove mines," he said, adding that "an official statement" would soon be put out.

Raqqah was overrun by Daesh in March 2013 and was declared the terrorist group's "capital" the next year.

The SDF, which does not coordinate with the Syrian government and military, announced an operation against the terrorists in the city some four months ago.

Earlier, a deal was reached between the SDF and a US-led coalition on the one side and Daesh terrorists on the other to allow the terrorists out of the city and move them to the neighboring Dayr al-Zawr Province, where Syrian government forces are already fighting Daesh.

The SDF claimed that, despite the deal, it was facing resistance from the terrorists.

Situation in Dayr al-Zawr

Separately, Syrian government forces have reportedly liberated more than 80 percent of the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr from the control of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that 81 percent of Dayr al-Zawr is now under the control of Syrian forces.

Daesh overran large parts of Dayr al-Zawr Province, including its many oil fields, in mid-2014 as it seized swathes of land in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

By early 2015, the Takfiri terrorists were in control of some parts of the city of Dayr al-Zawr and had besieged the remaining parts. Syrian government forces and their allies last month broke that siege.

The UK-based observatory said on Tuesday that Daesh had lost control of 10 strategic areas in eastern Syria in the past 48 hours.

According to the report, the Syrian army and its allies, backed by Russian and Syrian aerial cover, gained control of the town of Albu Leil and Muhassan City and their surrounding areas in Day al-Zawr Province.

The recapture means the area stretching between the cities of Dayr al-Zawr and Mayadin, which was liberated from Daesh on Saturday, is now under the control of the Syrian government.

The Syrian military operation reportedly forced Daesh terrorists to withdraw from the western bank of the Euphrates to the river's eastern bank. An unspecified number of terrorists were also killed during the ground and aerial attacks on their positions on the western bank.

The group earlier reported that Syrian forces had taken control of the villages of Zabari, Sa'lu, Toub, and al-Aliat, northwest of the region of Bouqras, which itself was retaken by the army on Monday.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

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