US-backed forces breach wall around Raqqa's Old City


BEIRUT (AP) ā€” The U.S. military says allied Syrian forces have breached the wall around Raqqa’s Old City, where they are fighting to drive Islamic State militants from the extremists’ self-declared capital.

Central Command said in a statement Monday that by punching through two “small portions” of the Rafiqah Wall they were able to enter the Old City while avoiding booby traps and IS snipers. It says the strikes left most of the 2,500-meter (yard) wall intact.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia, is battling IS in Raqqa with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes and U.S. special operations forces.

Several IS leaders were once based in Raqqa, where the group is believed to have plotted attacks in Europe. The loss of the northern Syrian city would deal a major blow to IS.

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