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U.S. says Raqqa Fight will 'Accelerate' as I.S. Loses in Iraq

The jihadist group is locked in twin battles for its key strongholds, Raqqa and Mosul
By The News · 07 of June 2017 08:53:53
U.S. Armed Forces in Raqqa, ARCHIVO - Esta imagen de un video tomado el 7 de marzo y facilitada por la red Arab 24 muestra a fuerzas estadounidenses que efectúan un patrullaje en las afueras de la localidad siria de Manbij, en la provincia de Alepo, Siria. Fuerzas sirias apoyadas por Estados Unidos lanzaron el martes un ataque contra Raqqa, la capital de facto del grupo Estado Islámico, en el norte de Siria, en momentos en que el grupo yihadista libra su última defensa en Mosul, en el país vecino de Irak. (Red Arab 24 vía AP, Archvo), photo: Arab 24 Net, via AP

A U.S. official says the fight for Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s (I.S.) de facto capital, will “only accelerate” as the militants lose their grip on Iraq’s Mosul.

Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy for the global coalition against I.S., says the U.S. and its local allies, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, are prepared for a protracted fight for the northern Syrian city. He spoke at a press conference in Baghdad on Wednesday.

The jihadist group is locked in twin battles for its key strongholds, Raqqa and Mosul. The SDF launched its attack on Raqqa on Tuesday and have already captured a neighborhood on the city’s eastern end. Iraqi forces have been battling I.S. in Mosul since October.

McGurk said the fight for Raqqa will be a “difficult and very long-term battle.”