Middle EastWar

Offensive operations to resume in Raqqa – Coalition spokesperson

The spokesperson for the U.S.-led Coalition said that offensive operations to clear the remaining Islamic State-held areas in Raqqa are expected to resume later on Monday.

“There still is area that is yet to be cleared in Raqqa … there is still about 15 percent of the city that has not been cleared,” Colonel Ryan Dillon told The Defense Post.

“We are supposed to resume the offensive operations into the remaining areas of Raqqa today,” he said, adding that the stadium and and national hospital remain to be cleared.

Dillon explained that operations have been paused while civilians were evacuating from the city, part of a deal brokered by Raqqa Arab tribal elders which included the surrender of many Syrian ISIS fighters. The Syrian Democratic Forces have not been calling in airstrikes in the city, Dillon said.

The pause in operations led to some reporting that the SDF are fully in control of the city, and that the announcement of the city’s capture from ISIS could be made imminently.

The SDF said in a Monday statement that it had captured the mainly Kurdish Al Andalus neighborhood and the airport, and that clashes were continuing in other parts of the city. Ten ISIS members surrendered to SDF, the statement added.

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