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09 August 2017, 12:29 | Marta Robbins
US-led strikes against Islamic State claim another 21 civilian lives, toll reaches 624
Brett McGurk, the State Department's special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, revealed on Friday that 8,000 square miles (about 30 percent) of the liberated territory has been cleared in the first six-months of President Trump's administration.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused the Syrian government on Sunday of blocking their Al-Raqqa campaign during a meeting with the U.S. Coalition.
Trump publicized that assessment on Twitter, sharing The Washington Post's story, headlined, "Under Trump, gains against ISIS have 'dramatically accelerated'".
So far, ISIS has lost 27,000 sqm; 78% of its holdings in Iraq and 58% in Syria since the group's peak control in early Y 2015, he said.
Isis has lost large expanses of territory in Syria over the a year ago to separate campaigns waged by the SDF, the Russian-backed Syrian military, and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels. McGurk said Friday he expects that 2,000 militants "most likely will die in Raqqa".
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He said: "The attacks that happened in Paris and Brussels, the attackers were trained by them and left from Syria to Europe".
The progress has not come without cost.
"The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) regrets the deteriorating situation civilian in Raqqa city are suffering from as a result of the ongoing events, Specially the targeting of public services facilities and #health care facilities", the statement said.
The coalition said it is still determining the credibility of 424 reports of civilian casualty incidents. Instead, it has encouraged members of the anti-ISIS coalition to redouble their efforts to end the carnage as quickly as possible.
At least 2,000 Isis militants are still holed up in the Syrian city of Raqqa fighting for their lives as a US-led coalition closes in on the city, according to USA intelligence officials. Some will nearly certainly make their way to Europe and the US.
Coordinating with Turkey, the Syrian-Turkish border was sealed to make sure IS wasn't able to sneak militants trained in Syria over to carry out attacks in Europe and elsewhere, he added.
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