Speed Reads

ISIS Crisis

U.S.-backed fighters say ISIS 'is on the verge of being finished' in Raqqa

Kurdish fighters working with the United States to recapture the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria, on Saturday said victory in the besieged city is imminent.

Raqqa "may finally be cleared of the jihadists on Saturday or Sunday," Reuters reports the coalition troops predicted. About 100 ISIS militants have surrendered since Friday, and Kurdish militia representative Nouri Mahmoud said ISIS "is on the verge of being finished."

A U.S. spokesman was more reticent, refusing to "set a time for when we think [ISIS] will be completely defeated in Raqqa," but said the city is 85 percent liberated. A deal has been arranged to evacuate civilians from the city center by bus, which may allow fighting to proceed more quickly. Raqqa has been occupied by ISIS since 2014.