Backed SDF have cleared ISIS of more than half of Raqqa, Syria


The US-led coalition against Daesh terrorist group (ISIS/ISIL/IS) in Iraq and Syria carried out 38 strikes consisting of 51 engagements, including 33 strikes near the Syrian city of Raqqa on Thursday, the Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release.

According to the AP report, the family left Jakarta for Raqqa two years ago, intending to live in what they had regarded as the capital of ISIS.

The terrorist group's prolific use of human shields, concentration of fighters in heavily defended positions, and insurgent tactics are the same conditions which drew out US -backed Iraqi Security Force operations to retake the city of Mosul.

Dillon says the significance is that the SDF, despite IS' best efforts, have successfully battled across the entire city from both sides and have joined forces. Turkey's Cilvegozu stands across from the Bab al-Hawa in Syria's Idlib province. "The security conditions in the area are so complex that the handling process can not be done easily", he said.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported a three-kilometre tailback at the Oncupinar border crossing, located further east, after trucks were rerouted from Cilvegozu. She said however that the 2017 returns were less than the number of displaced this year: almost 809,000.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are also advancing inside Raqqa, and have taken control of 55 percent of the city following a two-month battle with IS.

IOM said that its partner agencies have found that two-thirds of the returnees have gone to the northern Aleppo governorate, where government forces ousted rebels from the city of Aleppo previous year. "They've laid many mines, that's one of the biggest difficulties".

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces launched a wide offensive to capture IS's de facto capital of Raqqa on June 6.

A US -trained local police force of about 1,000 members is patrolling the liberated areas.