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Middle East

Raqqa campaign in ‘final stages’, SDF says

Fighters from Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stand near destroyed Uwais al-Qarni shrine in Raqqa, Syria

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Wednesday its campaign to capture Raqqa from Islamic State (IS) was in its final stages and its fighters had seized 80 per cent of the city.

In a statement, the SDF said it had opened a new front against IS on the northern edge of Raqqa, describing this as “a feature of the final stages of the Euphrates Wrath campaign, which is nearing its end”.

The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, launched their offensive on Islamic State inRaqqa city in June, backed by US-led air strikes and special forces on the ground. The city had served as Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that the SDF had taken more than 90 per cent of the city, adding that the major remaining hurdle for the forces was a large concentration of mines in the area.

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