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Raqa

Islamic State group loses emblematic Syria stronghold Raqqa

DAMASCUS: US-backed forces took full control of Raqqa from the Islamic State group on Tuesday, defeating the last militant holdouts in the de facto Syrian capital of their now-shattered "caliphate". The victory caps a battle of more than four months for Raqqa, and hammers another nail in the coffin of the militant group's experiment in statehood, which has collapsed in the face of offensives in Syria and Iraq. Inside Raqqa, joyous fighters from the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces celebrated and raised their…

US-backed forces push closer to Islamic State ‘capital’ Raqa

RAQA: A US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance pushed closer to Raqa in Syria while Iraqi forces seized a key town near Mosul as offensives advanced Monday against the two Islamic State group strongholds. After announcing the launch of the long-awaited assault on Raqa on Sunday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance said it had moved south towards the city despite fierce jihadist resistance. South of Mosul, Iraqi forces retook Hamam al-Alil from IS, a key objective in their three-week advance on the city. Iraqi…