Raqqa offensive slows as coalition forces split off for next anti-ISIS operation
With around 60 percent of Raqqa retaken from ISIS, including its old city, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Kurdish YPG fighting there has been detached for the next coalition offensive building up to capture one of the jihadists’ last strongholds at Abu Kamal. These units are moving, under the Baghdad-based US anti-ISIS command, past the Khabur River, a tributary of the Euphrates, and along its eastern bank towards the targeted town. US air strikes are clearing the way for their passage. See DEBKAfile Exclusive of Sept. 10.
The operation to liberate Raqqa, the former capital of the Islamist Caliphate, billed as a key US target of the war on ISIS, is reported by our military sources to have slowed down. The US command has decided to leave a small detachment at Raqqa to finish the battle against the 2,000 jihadists still fighting inside and outside the town. It is estimated that as soon as ISIS is defeated in its Euphrates Valley strongholds, the remainder in Raqqa will surrender.