07:26 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Islamic State billboards are seen along a street in Raqqa, eastern Syria. The billboard (R) reads: We will win despite the global coalition (File)

    Syrian Arab Coalition Makes Major Gains Toward Raqqa, Pentagon Says

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    The Syrian Arab Coalition has made significant gains in operation to retake Raqqa while meeting minimal resistance from Daesh (the terror group outlawed in Russia), US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said in a briefing on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The spokesperson noted that the US partner in Syria is facing "minimal ISIS [Daesh] resistance."

    "Over the past few days, Syrian Arab Coalition forces have made significant territorial gains, seizing main supply routes. They have now cut off the route that leads from Raqqa to Hasakah, Shaddadi and Deir ez-Zor," Davis told reporters.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Syrian Arab Coalition, launched the Wrath of Euphrates operation to retake Raqqa in November.

    Turkey began the Operation Euphrates Shield on August 24, 2016. Together with the Syrian opposition Turkey took over the cities of Jarabulus and al-Bab in northern Syria.

    On Friday, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters backed by the Turkish forces celebrated the liberation of the Syrian town of al-Bab from Daesh terrorist group that had seized the city in 2013. Al-Bab is one of Daesh’s last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border. Capturing the city is of strategic importance to Turkey in order to prevent the Syrian Kurds taking it and unifying their own territories.

    After the victory in al-Bab, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that that Ankara intends to continue its advance into Syria to drive Islamists out of their Raqqa stronghold after securing a strategic town in Syria’s north.


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