The jihadists of the Islamic State (EI) group were on the verge of collapse on Friday in their stronghold of Raqa, in Syria, a new setback for this dreaded organization that is losing ground in this country and in Iraq while its finances run out.In spite of this reversal, the jihadists launched surprise counter-attacks in districts recently taken over by the Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS), a Kurdish-Arab alliance supported by an international coalition led by the United States, according to the Syrian Observatory of Rights Of Human Rights (OSDH).After an encirclement maneuver that took months, the Kurdish-Arab alliance cut Thursday the latest issue allowing jihadists to flee this city from northern Syria, according to the OSDH.This announcement comes three years to the day after the EI’s proclamation of the “Islamic caliphate” on the territories that its fighters had conquered in Syria and neighboring Iraq.The FDS “took control of a region south of the Euphrates, cutting off the last route that the EI could use to withdraw from Raqa,” Rami Abdel Rahmane, OSDH.– ‘Completely’ encircled –Kurdish and Arab fighters already controlled the northern, eastern and western sides, but the southern flank of Raqa, which became de facto the “capital” of the EI in Syria, proved to be slower to conquer because it was at the edge of the desert. “The FDS were able to completely encircle Raqa,” said Rami Abdel Rahmane.A spokesman for the coalition confirmed this encirclement. “The FDS now controls all avenues leading to Raqa from the south,” said Colonel Ryan Dillon in a statement.However, the IA does not seem ready to surrender. From the center of the city, still in their hands, about forty of its members, dressed in the uniform of the FDS to deceive the vigilance of their opponents, attacked al-Senaa and Mechleb, two districts of the southeast.They carried out three suicide bomb attacks, operated drones with explosive charges, seized six positions held by the FDS and killed several fighters, said Rami Abdel Rahmane. “Even totally besieged, jihadists are able to carry out operations,” he added.Some 2,500 jihadists are fighting in the city, according to British general Rupert Jones, second in command of the international coalition.The UN estimated that nearly 100,000 civilians were “trapped” in Raqa.“With the intensification of air strikes and fighting on the ground, the number of civilian casualties is increasing and the roads to flee close one after the other,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Man.The battle of Raqa is the most emblematic for the SDF, who are engaged in fighting against the jihadists with the support of the international coalition both on the plane and with advisors, weapons and equipment.Since spring 2011, the war in Syria has ravaged the country, causing more than 320,000 deaths. It pitted multiple local protagonists (jihadists, moderate rebels and regime of President Bashar al-Assad), regional and major powers, and multiple atrocities were reported over the years.Indeed, experts in the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed in an investigation report, which AFP obtained extracts, that sarin gas had been used An attack that left 87 dead on April 4 in Syria.The outcome of the report will now serve as a basis for a joint UN-OPCW commission to determine whether Syrian regime forces are responsible for the chemical bombardment of Khan Cheikhoun (northwest).Several chemical bombardments had already been reported in the country.– ‘Continuous decline’ –The international coalition also supports the Iraqi forces in their offensive to resume Mosul, the last urban stronghold of the IE in northern Iraq.Since the proclamation of the “caliphate” in June 2014 on the territories conquered by the EI in Syria and Iraq, the ultra-radical group, which has claimed many attacks in the West, has clearly lost its splendor.In three years, he sold 60% of the territory he occupied in these two countries and 80% of his income, according to a study by analyst firm IHS Markit published on Thursday. The territory of the “caliphate” went from 90,000 square kilometers in January 2015 to 36,200 square kilometers in June 2017, explains this firm based in London.“The rise and fall of the EI is characterized by a rapid expansion followed by a continuous decline … It is clear that the project of governance of the caliphate failed,” notes Columb Strack, -Orient to IHS Markit. “The rest of the + caliphate + should disintegrate before the end of the year”.