Had this been any other president and this would be leading the nightly news. Eight months after taking office and changing the battle strategy, ISIS loses control over their self-declared capital in Raqqa, Syria.
Over the weekend a convoy of ISIS fighters surrendered in Raqqa leaving approximately 200-300 fighters to mount their last stand to the death.
According to Reuters and CBS reports the liberation of Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State, has not yet been declared by the U.S. coalition, yet the declaration remains only a formality. U.S.-backed militia forces are celebrating as the final house-to-house clearing takes place to get rid of the remaining ISIS remnants.
(Via CBS) – RAQQA, Syria — There’s been no official declaration of victory, but aren’t waiting for one.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is finished in Raqqa, they said, after hundreds of extremists surrendered over the weekend.
They’ve had some help from U.S. airstrikes, but the Syrian militiamen that did the fighting on the ground are the very definition of a ragtag army. (read more)
And Now Today:
RAQQA, Syria (Reuters) – U.S.-backed militias battled foreign fighters defending the last pocket of Islamic State’s one-time Syrian capital of Raqqa on Monday, bringing their four-month offensive for the city to the brink of victory.
A Reuters correspondent saw smoke rising above the city and heard mortar fire, but did not see air strikes while in Raqqa.
A field commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, said he expected the operation to end on Monday. The U.S.-led coalition that backs them said it could not give a timeline.
SDF spokesman Mostafa Bali said they were fighting Islamic State in only one small zone of Raqqa in the evening, around the city’s national hospital and stadium.
Bali said he could not determine how much longer the battle would take. “The clashes are ongoing,” he added. (read more)