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U.S.-backed militias defeat Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is backed by U.S. Special Forces troops, holds up the SDF flag at the Al-Naim square in Raqqa on Oct. 17, 2017. (Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S.-backed militias defeat Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria

U.S.-backed militias raised a flag inside the stadium in Raqqa, Syria, on Tuesday, a Reuters witness said, as a four-month battle to recapture the capital of the so-called Islamic State came to an end.

The fighting was over, but the alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias was clearing the stadium of mines and any remaining hiding militants, said Rojda Felat, commander of the Raqqa campaign for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

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

The fall of Raqqa, 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. (Reuters)

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