US-backed SDF forces expel ISIS from eight villages northern Syria

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Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in western Raqqa. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

Qamishli – After clashing with Islamic State (ISIS) militants on Saturday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured at least eight villages in Raqqa Governorate.

SDF troops, supported by US air cover, secured al-Tallaj, al-Nasiriya, Um Hajra, Bir Ardai and several other villages. At least 19 ISIS militants were killed in the fighting.

The polyethnic alliance also seized a large cache of ammunition and light weapons after ISIS jihadists withdrew from their strongholds in western Raqqa.

SDF commanders have expedited their anti-ISIS operations in western Raqqa, as part of the second phase of Operation Euphrates Wrath. Habsun Osman, an SDF officer, told ARA News that the clashes’ epicenter is now near “the strategic town of Suwaydiya in Raqqa’s suburbs.”

“We have liberated 122 villages in western Raqqa since the launch of the second phase of Euphrates Wrath Operation on December 10,” Osman stated. The SDF, has also reported more than 300 ISIS fatalities in the last couple weeks.

The SDF has captured more than 1550 km² in western Raqqa during the second phase of Operation Euphrates Wrath. During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, that was launched on November 6, the SDF captured roughly 560 km² of land in northern Raqqa.

The SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation with the objective of securing Raqqa’s western countryside and Tabqa Dam, which bridges the Euphrates River.

The long-term objective of Euphrates Wrath remains the elimination of the Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa city.

Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh | Source: ARA News

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