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Pentagon says US-backed forces have almost surrounded Raqqa

Pentagon officials say the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have liberated about half of the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa.
Syrian Democratic Forces are seen in Raqqa, Syria July 31, 2017. REUTERS/ Rodi Said - RTS19WAY

US-backed Syrian rebels have cleared nearly half of the Islamic State’s (IS) stronghold of Raqqa and are close to surrounding the city, Pentagon officials said today.

Soldiers from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a mix of Arab and Kurdish combatants, retook nearly 4 square miles around the embattled Syrian city over the weekend. That force, which receives small arms, vehicles and training from the United States, fought through improvised explosive devices (IEDs), booby traps and car bombs that ring the Old City, where a small pocket of IS fighters remain.

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