U.S.-backed fighters take a historic citadel from Islamic State in Syria's Raqqa province, the heart of the jihadists' imposed caliphate. Matthew Larotonda reports.
It's seen attacks by Mongol invaders and was once occupied by medieval European crusaders. This Syrian castle, thought to be constructed in the 11th century, seeing more strife even today, U.S.-backed militias took control of it Friday (January 6) from Islamic State, a move they are calling a significant advance against the jihadists. The castle, known as the Jabar citadel, lies in Syria's Raqqa province... the defacto capital of Islamic State's imposed caliphate, and one of their last strongholds. Located near a dam on the Euphrates river. Islamic State took Raqqa in 2013 in the chaos of the country's civil war. Now the powerful coalition of rebel groups known as Syrian Democratic Forces have laid seige to it, with U.S. airstrikes. News of Jabar's fall came as a delicate ceasefire between rebel and Syrian government forces persisted across parts of the country, although it's failed in areas including the Damascus suburbs. Brokered by Russia and Turkey, the ceasefire does not include Islamic State or other jihadist groups.