An American sniper with the Syriac Military Council (SMC), Christian fighters battling alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces against the Islamic State group, on the western outskirts of Raqa on June 27, 2017
BEIRUT (AFP) – US-backed forces cut off the last escape route for the Islamic State group from Raqa on Thursday, a monitor said, trapping the besieged jihadists inside their de facto Syrian capital.
Fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces captured two villages on the southern bank of the Euphrates River the jihadists had been passing through to withdraw from the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
It was the latest setback for IS, which declared its “caliphate” straddling Syria and Iraq three years ago but has since lost most of the territory it once controlled.
It came too as Iraqi forces announced the recapture of an iconic mosque in IS’s last major Iraqi bastion Mosul, prompting Iraqi…
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