UPDATE 1: The Syrian Democratic Forces have established a full contol over Raqqah, according to multiple sources. An official SDF satement is expected later today.
On Tuesday, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allegedly established a full control over the city Raqqah. The initial reports on the issue appeared at the website of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The mainstream media and pro-SDF media activists widely spread the SOHR’s claims.
“The fall of Raqqa city, where Islamic State staged euphoric parades after its string of lightning victories in 2014, is a potent symbol of the jihadist movement’s collapsing fortunes. From the city, the group planned attacks abroad.
The SDF, backed by a U.S.-led international alliance, has been fighting Islamic State inside Raqqa since June.
Another Reuters witness said militia fighters celebrated in the streets, chanting slogans from their vehicles.
A group of militia fighters and commanders clasped their arms round each other, smiling, in a battle-scarred landscape of rubble and ruined buildings at a public square.The flag in the stadium and others waved in the city streets bore the yellow background and red emblem of the Kurdish YPG, the strongest militia in the SDF,” Reuters reports on the issue.
Reuters also quoted a spokesman for the US-led coalition, Army Colonel Ryan Dillon: “We do still know there are still IEDs and booby traps in and amongst the areas that ISIS once held, so the SDF will continue to clear deliberately through areas,” the colonel said.
However, according to Dilon’s statement in Twitter, the SDF controls only 90% of Raqqah city after the group has seized al-Naim roundabout.
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) 17 October 2017
Thus, the real situation in the city remains unclear. The ISIS defense likely collapsed inside the city center. However, this does not mean that the SDF already has a full control over Raqqah.
The map below shows an alleged military situation in Raqqah city prior to the claims that the SDF took full control over it: