US sends mass military gears to Kurdish-led groups in Raqqa

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/25 7:25:39

The United States has sent large shipments of military gears to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to help them in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria's northern province of Raqqa, the SDF said Sunday.

The large quantities of weapons aim to help the SDF in their fight to completely clear Raqqa from IS, said the group.

Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS, is almost liberated and people started returning to their homes, the SDF added.

On Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group said the SDF fighters were mopping up the last IS holdouts in Raqqa.

The Observatory, which says it relies on a network of activists on ground, said the IS had lost its main stronghold in Syria by losing Raqqa to the Kurdish-led SDF, adding that the remaining IS fighters are hiding in basements and underground shelters in the city center.

The anticipated victory comes following a 110-day battle by the SDF and allied fighters to drive out IS from Raqqa, which the terror-designated group self-declared as its capital in 2014.

The SDF fighters, backed by US special forces, are combing the city to defuse the bombs left by IS, said the Observatory.

The London-based watchdog also said the SDF will declare the full capture of Raqqa once the city is fully cleared of IS militants.

According to the monitor group, 80 percent of the city has been destroyed, and about 3,100 including IS militants have been killed during the months-long offensives in the city.

A source familiar with the situation in Raqqa told Xinhua that the SDF could declare the liberation of the city within hours or a day.


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