Syria: Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters linked for the first time eastern and western parts of Raqqa
US-backed Syrian fighters advancing on the Islamic State group from the eastern and western parts of the northern city of Raqqa have linked up for the first time since launching their offensive on IS’ de facto capital, officials said Friday.
Though the development marked a significant milestone in the battle for the IS stronghold, a US military spokesman cautioned that there is still tough fighting ahead before Raqqa is completely taken from the militants.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, under the cover of US-backed coalition airstrikes, launched a wide offensive to capture the city on June 6 and have managed so far to take about half the city.
The linkup of the eastern and western fronts deprives IS from access to the Euphrates River — and effectively leaves the remaining militants in Raqqa and thousands of civilians surrounded.