US-backed Syrian fighters preparing for final push in Raqqa

In first, IS urges women to join jihad and carry out terror attacks
Iraq to prosecute 100 European Daesh members

09 Octubre, 2017

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is backed in the war by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias including Lebanon's Hezbollah, and its campaign against Islamic State has mostly been on the west bank of the river.

The army and its allies reached the city of Deir al-Zor in September after a months-long offensive across the Syrian desert, and have since then pushed down the Euphrates towards the border with Iraq. However, it has been established that he is Yasser Iqbal, 39, a married lawyer from Birmingham who before moving to Syria had a successful immigration law practice. Female Mideast refugees have generally been considered far less of a potential danger, and have undergone less comprehensive screenings.

For three years Raqqa was the de facto Syrian capital of Daesh's self-declared caliphate, a centre of operations where it oversaw the management of its vast swathes of eastern, central and northern Syria and planned attacks abroad.

Calling himself Abu Adam al-Britani, he said last week that stray cats and packs of dogs have become fat from eating "dead human flesh" in the levelled buildings and streets of Raqqa.

The loss of Raqqa is symbolic because it was the so-called ISIS capital - but along with the loss of other towns and cities in Syria and Iraq, it may also weaken the group's ability to carry out terror attacks both here in the Middle East, and elsewhere.

Elite forces of the Syrian Arab Army are pushing hard on the Islamic State's capital, capturing half the city from the militant group in a matter of hours, Al-Masdar News reports.

Military sources say that the Tiger Forces are advancing under cover of heavy rocket and howitzer fire which is currently targeting IS positions and rally points in the city center and in the eastern districts of Al-Mayadeen. "But God made me leave all this rubbish behind and come to Syria for the afterlife". Counter-radicalisation efforts to prevent the exodus of disaffected young Britons has focused on the young and marginalised who were seen as most at risk from the influence of extremists.

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