The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces declared they are at the final stages of their assault against the Islamist State’s last line of defense in its former Syrian capital, Raqqa. The loss of Islamic State’s remaining streets and buildings in Raqqa following its defeat in Iraq’s Mosul this year and its retreat from swathes of territory in both countries, would mark a major milestone in the battle to destroy the extreme Muslim group. The latest successes of the US-backed forces, primarily made up of Kurdish militias, have angered the Syrian regime in Damascus. In a meeting between Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the Syrian top diplomat accused the Kurdish alliance of competing with the Syrian military for control of the oil-producing areas of the war-torn-country. Minister al-Mualem further noted that the Kurds are currently under an illusion that their international-backing, primarily by the United States, would last forever – a reality the Syrian top diplomat emphasized would come to an end and would lead them to devastating consequences.