>> US-backed militias in Syria saying they've launched their final assault on the Islamic state stronghold of Raqqa.
e Syrian Democratic Forces, an coalition of Arab and Kurdish militia battling ISIS, telling Reuters that they left 275 ISIS fighters leave the city Sunday with their families. An SDF spokesman saying a small but hardcore cadre of jihadists remained in Raqqa, to mount a last stand in the militant group's de facto capital.
Raqqa was the first major city captured by ISIS, as the group declared a new caliphate and seized swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014. Many of its top leaders who were based there. Western intelligence agencies say the city was where ISIS plotted attacks abroad. Now, Raqqa's fall seems imminent.
Most of the city has been pulverized by air strikes and months of house to house fighting. The remaining ISIS fighters facing not only the US-backed SDF, but also the Syrian army of President Bashar Assad, backed by Russia and Iran. A statement by the Syrian Democratic Forces saying, the battle will continue until the whole city is clean.