U.S.-backed alliance quickly gaining ground against ISIS in Syria

Their goal is to capture Raqqa.
(Image credit: iStockphoto)

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, 10 days into its latest campaign to capture Raqqa, Syria, from the Islamic State, is quickly making gains against the militants.

An SDF spokesman told Reuters its fighters are just a few miles from a major dam on the Euphrates River, about 30 miles west of Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria. The SDF alliance, which includes the Kurdish YPG militia, is targeting areas held by ISIS west of Raqqa in an attempt to drive the militants out of the city. The spokesman said the alliance has captured 1,300 square kilometers from ISIS over the last 10 days. ISIS has been using suicide car bombs against the alliance, but they are using special weapons to destroy the vehicles before they reach their targets. During the latest offensive, 15 alliance fighters have been killed.

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Catherine Garcia, The Week US

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.