Battle of Raqqa is Down to 3 Neighborhoods, US Coalition Envoy Says
The battle to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State is nearing its conclusion, with the fight concentrated in three neighborhoods, US-led Coalition Envoy Brett McGurk said on Friday.
“They are now really down to about their last three neighborhoods in the north central part of the city, and it is a matter of time until the operation in Raqqa is finished,” Mr. McGurk said in a briefing. “The end is really in sight in Raqqa.”
Current Situation in #Raqqa after major offensive by Syrian Democratic Forces.
— Syrian Civil War Map (@CivilWarMap) September 22, 2017
The envoy delivered remarks following a ministerial level meeting of some 24 members of the counter-ISIS Coalition that took place on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City.
Mr. McGurk said as soon as the military phase of the Raqqa operation is finished, the Coalition will launch a “serious” stabilization plan for the city. He added that about 100 sites have already been identified for immediate demining.
In June, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the Coalition, launched the offensive part of the operation to liberate Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State.
SDF Commander Rojda Felat said on Friday that the terrorists hold about 20 percent of the city at the moment, and they will likely be ousted within 1.5 months.