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Battle for Raqqa: U.S.-Backed Forces Reclaim Syrian City From ISIS
After a four-month battle, Syrian forces have declared victory over ISIS in the group's former stronghold.
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of U.S. backed militias, holds up their flag in Raqqa on Oct. 17.
The SDF said Tuesday they had taken full control of Raqqa from ISIS, defeating the last jihadist holdouts in the de facto Syrian capital of their now-shattered "caliphate."
Kurdish fighters run across a street on July 3.
The SDF, a multi-ethnic alliance that includes Kurdish and Arab militias, has been fighting since June to take the city.
Raqqa was the first big city ISIS captured in early 2014, before its rapid series of victories in Iraq and Syria brought millions of people under the rule of its self-declared caliphate, which passed laws and issued passports and money.
A Syrian fighter takes his position inside a destroyed apartment on the front line in Raqqa on July 27.
ISIS has lost much of its territory in Syria and Iraq this year, including its most prized possession, Mosul. In Syria, it has been forced back into a strip of the Euphrates valley and surrounding desert.
Syrian fighters celebrate after declaring victory over ISIS in Raqqa on Oct. 17.