At least 167 ISIS militants killed, an area of 550km² liberated in Raqqa operation so far: SDF

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SDF fighters clearing a village in northern Raqqa after ISIS expulsion. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Raqqa – The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued Tuesday its military campaign ‘Euphrates Wrath Operation’ against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria’s Raqqa, and reported new gains.

The Kurdish-led SDF announced the death of at least 167 ISIS militants so far in the campaign that started last week.

“Our forces have liberated dozens of villages and farms in northern Raqqa, in an area measuring approximately 550 square kilometres during the first phase of the operation,” the SDF said in a statement.

“Also, dead bodies of 167 ISIS terrorists have been found subsequent to clashes, and four terrorists were taken captive by our forces,” the SDF leadership reported on Monday.

Military sources told ARA News that the Syrian Democratic Forces have also captured seven strategic hills in the northern suburb of Raqqa after heavy fighting with ISIS.

“Since the start of the battle for Raqqa, the SDF has destroyed 14 ISIS military vehicles, 8 Doshka machine guns and 4 ISIS artilleries, beside dismantling 240 improvised explosive devices,” the SDF leadership said. “Our forces also seized a large deal of ammunition during the clashes.”

At least four SDF fighters have lost their lives since the start of the operation last week.

“ISIS is unable to resist for long. Raqqa operation is going well, and our forces are determined to eliminate this terrorist organization,” Rashid Fouad, an American volunteer in the SDF ranks, told ARA News at the battlefront.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces launched the Euphrates Wrath Operation on 6 November, with support from the US-led coalition. The operation’s long-term objective is the isolation and elimination of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Raqqa.

Meanwhile, the SDF-affiliated Syrian Democratic Council started on Monday working on the establishment of a civilian administration to run the city of Raqqa after ISIS expulsion.

According to the leadership of Syrian Democratic Council, it is important that a local civilian council runs the city of Raqqa in post-ISIS era.

“Such an administration could provide a good example for democratic change in Raqqa, especially that the city has been for years a de facto capital for the ISIS terrorist group,” Kurdish co-Chair of the Syrian Democracy Council Ilam Ahmed told ARA News. “The liberation of Raqqa would be a crucial and historical victory against ISIS.”

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units, Women’s Protection Units, Syriac Military Council, Raqqa Revolutionaries Battalion and Tel Abyad Revolutionary Brigade are participating in Euphrates Wrath Operation for Raqqa. These ground forces are being bolstered by the US-led coalition, which is providing air support and advice from US military experts.

Reporting by: Qehreman Miste | Source: ARA News

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