The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rebel force against the government of Assad has cautiously entered the final Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. They entered thru the eastern edge of the city, fording a river on foot and in light vehicles all the while relaying their position by radio in an attempt not to fall victim to friendly artillery fire.

Raqqa is considered by the Islamic State, (IS) to be their “caliphate” and their “capital” in Syria. The eastern edge of the city, al Mishlab, is just the beginning of what is forecast to be a long and difficult battle.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched their assault to capture the city this week.

As artillery and coalition aircraft pounded targets in the city, SDF fighters moved in small groups into the district during a media trip organized by the SDF.