ISIS escape routes from Raqqa are all blocked

BBC:
US-backed forces say they have fully encircled Islamic State fighters in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the capital of the group's self-proclaimed caliphate.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, say they have now sealed off escape routes to the south.

IS seized Raqqa in early 2014 and established its headquarters there.

The SDF have been gradually advancing on the city since November and launched an offensive to take it on 6 June.
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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group confirmed the last route out of the city had now been cut off.

Col Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition against IS, said that the SDF now controlled "all high speed avenues of approach into Raqqa from the south".

He said that IS fighters "abandoned by their leadership, are being pressured by the SDF from multiple axes around the city".

Col Ryan also said the forces had "cleared about 7.5 sq miles (19.4 sq km) from IS in and around Raqqa this week".

Ali Shervan, a Kurdish SDF fighter, told Kurdistan24: "The city centre is completely besieged, and our forces are fighting from all sides."
...
The annihilation strategy appears to be implemented at this point.  Raqqa appears to be falling much quicker than Mosul did, but it is a much smaller city.  Most of the ISIS leadership appears to have fled before the city was encircled.  The fighters are finding a large tunnel network.  Apparently it si used to send out human bomb attacks, but there is little face to face fighting.

Deir al-Zour is believed to be the location the leaders fled to.  It is southeast of Raqqa in the Middle Euphrates Valley.

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