Elite Forces led by former Syrian opposition chief join fight against ISIS

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Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seen in the northern countryside of Raqqa after launching a new anti-ISIS campaign to liberate Raqqa governorate. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Raqqa – The Syrian Elite Forces (SEF) have joined the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Raqqa. The SEF is the military wing of Syria’s Tomorrow Movement.

The Elite Forces are led by Ahmad al-Jarba, a prominent member of the Arab Shammar tribe and former President of the Syrian National Council (SNC). He established the SEF with support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led coalition described Jarba as “an influential member in the region, who has the ability to mobilize local forces in support of the offensive.”

Officials from the SDF and the US-led coalition confirmed on Saturday that the Elite Forces have joined the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation–aimed at isolating and eventually eliminating ISIS in Raqqa.

“One notable faction joining the Raqqa campaign is the Syrian Elite Forces, who are led by Ahmad al-Jarba,” said Col Dorrian. “The SDF now consists of approximately 45,000 fighters, more than 13,000 of which are Arab.”

The Syrian Elite Forces, have been cooperating with the Syrian Democratic Forces in Shaddadi town near Deir ez-Zor. While SEF fighters aren’t enlisted in the SDF, their movement is allied to the Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

 

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