US says that Syrian forces have breached Raqqa’s Old Wall in IS fight
US military has said that the wall at Raqqa’s Old City has been breached by the US backed Syrian forces as they try to retake the city from so-called Islamic State.
It further states that coalition had helped the advance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) by firing on two sections of the historic Rafiqah Wall.
The SDF, which is supported by the US-led coalition has spent months encircling the city.
On the other hand in 2014 the IS had seized Raqqa, proclaiming it the capital of a “caliphate“.
The city which is defended by up to 4,000 fighters is an important hub for the jihadist group’s operations,.
The US Central Command said in a statement. said that “Coalition forces had supported the SDF advance into the most heavily fortified portion of [Raqqa] by opening two small gaps in the Rafiqah Wall that surrounds the Old City.”
The SDF which is an Arab-Kurdish alliance had been formed in 2015.
In the previous week, the SDF had said that its fighters had fully encircled IS in Raqqa.
Since November the US-backed forces have been gradually advancing on the city, they have launched an offensive to take it on 6th of June.
The coalition has made claims that the capture of Raqqa will deliver a “decisive blow” to the jihadist group.
Civillians have faced the blunt of the battle for the city.
The UN has said that at least 173 civilians were killed in June, however the actual figure could be far higher, stressing that “civilians must not be sacrificed for the sake of rapid military victories.”
It is believed that up to 100,000 people are trapped by the fighting. Reports continue to emerge of IS militants preventing civilians from fleeing.
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