US Backed Fighters Days Away From Defeating ISIS In Syria

US-backed fighters in northern Syria are preparing for a final offensive on neighborhoods still held by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Raqqa, a spokesman for the group said Monday.

From a peak in January 2015 to June of this year, the Islamic State (ISIS) has lost an estimated 54,600 sq.km - approximately 60% - of its territory.

And he boasted he made more money in a day than most people make in a month, adding: "I had a Porsche, I was doing very well in my life".

A U.S. special operations commander in Syria told CBS News on Sunday that around 2,000 civilians are still trapped and they are unable to escape the small area controlled by ISIS gunmen. "We killed some of them and the rest fled towards the hospital".

Meanwhile on Friday the FBI said it thwarted a jihadist plot to attack US targets including New York's subway and Times Square.

The Syrian Democratic Forces have captured around 90% of IS's one-time bastion and are closing in on the jihadists in a pocket of territory near Raqa city centre.

The Independent noted that the call to arms could have significant consequences in Western nations, where threats by Islamists have so far been almost entirely limited to the male population.

Mayadeen in the oil-rich eastern province of Deir Ezzor is seen as the jihadist group's "security and military capital" in Syria, and its loss would deal "a severe blow" to the jihadists, according to a Syrian military source. "What we're seeing in Syria is an insurgency grounded within societies and, if you are going to get rid of all of that, you have to start with genocide".

A former acquaintance said: "He and his wife came back here the Ramadan before last and he kept talking about how everything in this country was haram (forbidden)".

As larger areas of Syria's war-wracked terrain fall into the hands of its belligerents, so too do many of the displaced populace and jihadist fighters, either captured or hiding in plain sight among refugees.

Felat said fighting was still fierce along the front line, with IS using snipers, suicide bombers and reinforced positions in tunnels to hold up the SDF advance.

The district had been flattened, with buildings completely gone.

At the height of its power two years ago Islamic State ruled over millions of people, from northern Syria to the outskirts of Iraq's capital Baghdad, but it has since endured a series of losses under attack from many sides. "We're going to be dealing with that for decades to come".

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