The U.S-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group says the militants remaining in the Syrian city of Raqqa are likely left with only small arms to fight for the sliver of land they still control there.
The coalition says in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Saturday that IS militants still in Raqqa are completely cut off from their leadership and likely have only pistols, rifles, light machine guns and a dwindling supply of ammunition,
Despite this assessment, the coalition says it expects difficult days ahead until Raqqa, once the militants’ de facto capital, is retaken. Earlier this week, the coalition estimated that 300 to 400 militants remained in the city. On Friday, a local official said an estimated 100 militants surrendered.
This comes as U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces says the final battle for Raqqa is underway. A spokesman for the Kurdish militia that forms the backbone of the SDF, Nouri Mahmoud, says IS extremists still in Raqqa are mostly suicide bombers and special units that go behind enemy lines.