Vastavam web: The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Wednesday its campaign to capture Raqqa from Islamic State (IS) was in its final stages and its fighters had seized 80 percent of the city.In its fight against a separate operation waged by the Syrian army and its allies, Islamic State has collapsed along the west bank of the Euphrates downstream of Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, the SDF said it had opened a new front against IS on the northern edge of Raqqa. This was “a feature of the final stages of the Euphrates Wrath campaign, which is nearing its end”.“We can say that 80 percent of the city of Raqqa has been liberated,” the statement said.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that Islamic State now controls only 5 percent of the city and its remaining militants there have nearly run out of food and munitions.
In Deir al-Zor province of eastern Syria, Islamic State is battling two separate offensives, launched by the SDF on one side and the Syrian army and its allies on the other.The SDF’s advances have been on the eastern bank of the river.The convergence of the two rival offensives has increased tensions in Deir al-Zor. The U.S.-backed militia on Monday warned against any further Syrian army advances on the eastern riverbank.A fire at a major gas field known as Conoco raged through Tuesday night and into Wednesday, the Observatory said, after Syrian state media reported that the army was advancing towards it. Islamic State had fled the area, the Observatory added.