The war stops for a quick selfie.
The battle for Raqqah, the former ISIS capital, is well underway. The largely Kurdish forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), heavily supplied with US weapons and assistance from US air and special forces, have now pushed deep into the city of 220,000 from the East, West, and North. The Division 17 military base on the North side of the city and several neighbourhoods are reported to be now under SDF control.

The Taslif Bank Building in the centre of the city, which was thought to be an ISIS HQ, was destroyed by a US-coalition airstrike

Meanwhile ISIS forces are claiming to have defeated an attempt to land SDF soldiers on the South side of the city, a move that could have cut off a possible route of escape for ISIS defenders, who now appear to be using a strategy of "defensive attrition" aimed at wearing down their opponents. This involves defending terrain and urban centres that are costly to attack, and then at the last moment retreating, leaving behind booby traps in the form of improvised explosive devices. 

The fact that it is now the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is believed to be helping the SDF side. Under strict Islamic law, ISIS fighters are not allowed even to take even a sip of water during the hours of daylight, impairing their ability to put up resistance. It is believed this is the main reason for the assault on Raqqah taking place now.

The Battle of Raqqa

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