The final days of battle in Raqqa
Kurdish and Arab fighters of the SDF push the front line, as civilians continue to flee the former ISIL stronghold.
The deserted streets Raqqa bear witness to a fight that is almost over.
Almost one year has passed since the launch of a military campaign in the Syrian province, claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) as the group’s capital.
The SDF, backed by US troops on the ground, with air support from the coalition is in the thick of a final offensive.
The SDF is a group created by and led mostly by YPG Kurdish militias and integrated with Arab fighters and fighters from other minorities. Without a great number of men and armoured vehicles, the SDF had managed to quickly take control of areas of the city.
Civilians have been fleeing the city since the offensive began, but it is feared that almost 1,500 people are still trapped in the National Hospital and the stadium, which are surrounded by SDF forces.
Areas that are not yet taken by the SDF are hit daily by air raids and shelling attacks.
ISIL defends its position with snipers and occasional shelling, but front-line commanders fear the area is rigged with IEDs.