Backed Syrian militias raise flag in Raqqa stadium

Backed Syrian militias raise flag in Raqqa stadium

Backed Syrian militias raise flag in Raqqa stadium

Another Reuters witness said militia fighters celebrated in the streets, chanting slogans from their vehicles.

The streets of the city, once the group's de facto capital, are now covered with debris and piles of rubble.

Syrian Democratic Forces, spearheaded by Kurdish militias, and the US-led coalition announced today the final push to oust Islamic State from Raqqa was underway.

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A war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said ISIS was now completely cleared from the city.

"Soon we will have an official statement about the liberation of Raqqa", he said.

After brutalizing residents living under its command for more than three years, the militants are now battling to hang on to small pockets of territory in Iraq and Syria, besieged by local forces from all sides.

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Fighting on Monday night and Tuesday has focused on Raqqa's National Hospital and the nearby city stadium, two central positions in which it was well entrenched.

SDF fighters advance in Raqqa. The SDF went on to say the offensive was expected to end within hours, as its soldiers seized six districts on Monday. Around 50 fighters are estimated to be entrenched in the city, around the city's hospital and stadium, and a lot of them are believed to be foreign fighters.

Raqqa was the first big city Islamic State captured in early 2014, before its rapid series of victories in Iraq and Syria brought millions of people under the rule of its self-declared caliphate, which passed laws and issued passports and money.

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