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ICC Note:

Now that Mosul has fallen, the focus has moved to Raqqa in Syria. It was ISIS’ first city captured and is their capital. The loss of Raqqa would end ISIS’ claim to a territorial caliphate. Though Raqqa is an easier city to recapture than Mosul, the offensive is weaker. The Syrian Democratic Forces, comprised of Kurdish, Arab, Christian and Muslim fighters lack training, equipment, seasoning, and organizational capabilities. Though the fight ahead will be difficult, the Syrian Democratic Forces are a brave and hardy group.

07/21/2017 Iraq (ABC News) – Raqqa, the crucial battlefront in the war against ISIS after the brutal fight to retake Mosul, Iraq, is also ground zero for militants.

The Syrian city is the capital of ISIS’ so-called caliphate and holds a particular degree of significance to the terrorist group. That’s because it represents the first city the group seized during its rapid accumulation of ground in 2014.

Without control over Raqqa, ISIS will quite simply lose any pretense of being considered a state. Here’s a quick overview of the battle as it stands and what lies ahead in Raqqa after coalition forces claimed victory in Mosul this month:

Raqqa represents an easier city to retake than Mosul was because of its geography, civilian population and number of militants, though the U.S.-led coalition’s partners on the ground are weaker than they are in Mosul.

The soldiers, which are fewer in numbers than the force that retook Mosul, also lack the training, equipment, seasoning and organizational capabilities.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other allied groups are composed of Kurdish and Arab, Christian and Muslim fighters, as well as a handful of foreign volunteers.



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