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Setting Sights on Raqqa, the Other Islamic State Stronghold

MIN READNov 2, 2016 | 09:05 GMT

Setting Sights on Raqqa, the Other Islamic State Stronghold
Fighters belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces advance on a village south of Mosul on Oct. 30. The United States hopes to capitalize on the momentum against the Islamic State to batter its remaining positions in Iraq and Syria.

(AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

The coalition against the Islamic State is beating a path toward the Iraqi city of Mosul, but its attention has already started to turn toward another key city held by the jihadist group: Raqqa, in northern Syria. The United States, hoping to stretch the Islamic State's fighters and resources thin by forcing it to fight for both cities simultaneously, is eager to launch an offensive against the Syrian stronghold as quickly as possible. Having already encountered stiff resistance around Mosul, Washington will seek to capitalize on the momentum against the extremist group to batter its remaining positions in Iraq and Syria. But significant hurdles to the Raqqa operation have arisen before the battle has even begun....

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