iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over ISIS in the terror group’s former de facto capital of Raqqa.
“We proudly announce today from the heart of the city of Raqqa the victory of our forces in the major battle to defeat the ISIS terror organization, which we defeated in the capital of its alleged caliphate,” said a statement Friday from the U.S.-backed Syrian force.
The city of Raqqa, nestled on the northern bank the Euphrates River in Syria, fell into the hands of ISIS militants in 2014 and became the heart of their self-declared Islamic caliphate.
Now after after weeks of fighting between ISIS and the Syrian force, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias backed by the U.S., entire neighborhoods of the city are in ruin
The destruction in Raqqa adds to the wider damage from the Syrian civil war that is not in its seventh year. Half of Syria’s population is displaced either within the country’s borders or abroad. More than 5 million Syrians meanwhile lack access basic supplies and services, acording to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
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