The National Hospital, last stronghold of Daesh (ISIS) militants, is pictured from the positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces at the frontline in Raqqa, Syria October 8, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
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Captured by Daesh in 2014, the northern city was the de facto Syrian capital of the extremists' self-styled "caliphate" until the US-backed assault by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.The militia has captured around 90 percent of Raqqa since entering the city in June, after months of fighting to encircle it.SDF fighters have surrounded the hospital and were on Sunday preparing a fresh push to seize the stadium before moving to Al-Naim, said Ali Sher, a field commander with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which make up the bulk of the SDF.The loss of Raqqa city would leave Daesh with just a handful of positions in Syria and Iraq.The SDF has already begun a new campaign against the extremists to retake territory they hold in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, which neighbors Raqqa and sits on the border with Iraq.
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