Raqqa: US-backed militias have completely taken Isis’ de facto capital, Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Tuesday, in a major symbolic blow to the jihadist group.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias backed by a US-led international alliance, has been fighting Isis inside Raqqa since June.
Islamic State (IS) made Raqqa the headquarters of its self-styled “caliphate” in early 2014, implementing an extreme interpretation of Islamic law and using beheadings, crucifixions and torture to terrorise residents who opposed its rule.
The city also became home to thousands of jihadists from around the world who heeded a call to migrate there by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Up to 300 militants were thought to be holding out on Sunday, after Syrian jihadists and their families were evacuated along with 3,500 civilians under a deal negotiated by the Raqqa Civil Council and local Arab tribal elders.