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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

International coalition announces offensive against ISIS capital in Syria

The United States-led international coalition combating the Islamic State announced Tuesday a planned offensive on the IS' capital in Syria.


Following a coalition meeting in Paris, US Defense Minister Ashton Carter said Russia would not be involved in the assault on al-Raqqah, but local forces would.

"We have already begun laying the groundwork for our partners to commence the isolation of al-Raqqah," he said, though he did not specify the dates the offensive would be occurring on.

Carter promised to eradicate the IS in Syria and Iraq but warned there was a danger that the group would spread to countries like Afghanistan or Libya.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said al-Raqqah was a strategic target and was the focus of the coalition's attention.

Both ministers thought the threat of terror attacks in coalition countries remained high despite having made gains against the IS.

Al-Raqqah was captured by the IS in 2013 and made its regional capital, making it the target of airstrikes by Russia and the US.

An offensive against Mosul, the capital of the IS' so-called Caliphate in northern Iraq, is also underway by Iraqi government forces alongside allied militias, Iraqi Kurdish forces, a limited presence of US ground forces and the support of allied aircraft.

The two operations will represent a large military intervention against the IS and a move to oust it from its two principal strongholds.
 EFE
25/10/15

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