US-backed Syrian forces seize Raqqa neighbourhood

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Damascus, July 17 (IANS) US-backed Syrian forces on Monday said they seized control of a neighbourhood in Raqqa city, the Islamic State (IS) terror group’s main stronghold in the war-torn country.

Shervan Derwish, a spokesman from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), told Efe news agency that his forces captured al-Yarmouk neighbourhood, located near the Euphrates river.

After securing the roads in southern Raqqa and the surrounding city, the SDF advanced and liberated al-Yarmouk on Sunday, according to Derwish.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the SDF dominated only the western sector of al-Yarmouk, while fighting between both sides continued in al-Raqqa’s Old City.

The Britain-based monitoring group added at least three persons, including two women, were killed on Monday in the US-led international coalition bombings.

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Since June 6, the SDF has been fighting the IS in Raqqa. The extremists proclaimed a caliphate in 2014 affecting large areas of Syria and neighbouring Iraq.



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