US-Backed Forces Seize New District From Is In Raqqa

Smoke rises from the al-Mishlab district at Raqqa's southeastern outskirts, Syria June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTX39J31

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Syrian Kurdish forces say they have seized a new district from the Islamic State group in its self-declared capital, Raqqa.

Cihan Shekh Ehmed, a spokeswoman for the U.S.-backed militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, said the group’s fighters seized the western district of al-Qadisiya from IS on Monday.

Assisted by airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition, the SDF has been slowly advancing against IS in Raqqa since launching its offensive in early June after encircling the city.

Raqqa is the capital of the extremist group’s self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate, which it declared in 2014 in parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq. IS has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months at the hands of an array of Syrian and Iraqi forces.