Backed militias say they take major Raqqa position from ISIS

IS make last stand in Raqqa after losing control of headquarters

The Syrian Democratic Forces announced they have defeated ISIS in its former capital Raqqa and taken full control of the de facto capital of the ISIS.

Nuri Mahmoud, spokesman for the People's Protection Units (YPG) - the SDF's Kurdish section - said that his forces were making sure Raqqa had been cleared of IS fighters, particularly in the vicinity of the national hospital.

An official declaration confirming the city has been recaptured is expected soon.

Daesh has lost swathes of territory to the SDF and to a rival offensive by the Syrian Army and allied forces this year, and has fallen back to the fertile Euphrates valley area downstream of Raqqa.

And though the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by Kurdish militias and its multi-ethnic allies, declared victory over IS fighters after a final round of battles, the city itself has been "comprehensively wrecked".

A Reuters witness said militia fighters celebrated in the streets, chanting slogans from their vehicles.

ISIS have been backed into a corner in Raqqa after being pushed out of their headquarters in the city by US-backed Kurdish forces.

The flags in the stadium and others waved in the city streets were of the SDF, its strongest militia the Kurdish YPG, and the YPG's female counterpart, the YPJ.

On Tuesday morning, the SDF cleared the last two major IS positions in Raqqa - the municipal stadium and the National Hospital.

Col. Ryan Dillon said on Tuesday that the Syrian Democratic Forces have seized the last strongholds of the militant group in Raqqa but are not done securing them.

Fatima Hussein, a 58-year-old woman-sitting on a pavement smoking a cigarette-said she had emerged from her house after being trapped for months by the fighting.

Dozens of foreign militants were believed to have made their last stand in the stadium, while 22 were reportedly killed in the final attack on the hospital.

The fight for Raqqa has shattered much of the city.

"The end of the battle is fast approaching, maybe today or tomorrow", SDF spokesman Talal Sello told AFP.

The charity says some 270,000 people who fled the Raqqa fighting are still in critical need of aid.

"The national hospital was liberated and".

Another field commander, who gave his name as Abjal Al Syriani, said SDF fighters had found burned weapons and documents in the stadium. Dillon said 350 fighters had surrendered in recent days, including some foreign fighters.

It used the city as a planning and operations centre for its warfare in West Asia and its string of attacks overseas, and for a time imprisoned Western hostages there before killing them in slickly produced films distributed online. The experience over the past two days of the Kurds in neighboring Iraq may embolden the Syrian government to challenge the Syrian Kurdish enclave once the Islamic State is vanquished, just as the Iraqi government has moved to dislodge Kurdish forces from the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other areas they controlled.

After Raqa, anti-IS efforts will focus on Deir Ezzor province, where the militants still control areas around the town of Mayadeen, part of provincial capital Deir Ezzor, as well as several villages and remote desert areas.

If Mosul gained notoriety as pulpit from which the Islamic State declared its religiously inspired caliphate, Raqqa became the stage from which it showcased its form of rule.

"The Daesh group is collapsing under pressure from the regime in Deir Ezzor province", it said.



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