The Syrian Democratic Forces are entering the final phase of battle for the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa as the terror group’s caliphate continues to crumble.
The terror group has a seen a series of high profile losses in recent months that mark a reduction by nearly one-third of its territory since President Donald Trump took office. ISIS now controls no major cities in Iraq after the loss of Hawija in early October, where nearly 1,000 terrorists uncharacteristically surrendered to Kurdish security forces.
In previous battles, ISIS soldiers refused to surrender to the last man and carried out dozens of suicide missions to inflict as much as damage as possible. “I believe if the governors are telling us to surrender, it really means that this is the end,” one fighter lamented to The New York Times.
“ISIS is in tatters … the whole thing is falling apart,” U.S. Army Col. Patrick Work triumphantly declared Tuesday to The Army Times. “We are at a point right now where ISIS is in shambles.”
The U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces now control approximately 80 percent of Raqqa. ISIS, however, is digging in for a final showdown, and a few thousand civilians remain under its control. Even with the loss of Raqqa, the group will hardly be finished.
ISIS has already moved much of its leadership and core terror planning personnel to the the middle Euphrates river valley, where U.S. commanders expect them to take one last stand. Syrian, Iranian, and Russian troops are also targeting ISIS in this area.
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