Syrian Democratic Forces seize more ground eastern Raqqa amidst ISIS decline

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

ARA News

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Sunday seized control of six villages in the eastern countryside of Raqqa after clashes with Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants.

The progress comes as part of the third phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, aimed at liberating Eastern Raqqa from ISIS jihadists.

“The SDF today captured six villages in an area measuring approximately 19 square kilometres east Raqqa,” an SDF spokesman told ARA News.

ISIS was forced to withdraw from the villages of al-Hamish, Safar, Heshuhal Munasra, Rida, Bir Husen and Abu Rafiya, after being exposed to heavy bombardment by the US-backed SDF troops on Sunday evening.

“At least 32 ISIS terrorists were killed by SDF fire today,” SDF officer Rebaz Omar told ARA News.

“The terror group started to collapse in Raqqa amid rapid advance by our troops with support from the US-led coalition,” the official said.

On 4 February, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the launch of the third phase of Euphrates Wrath Operation in Eastern Raqqa.

During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, which began on November 6, 2016, the SDF liberated roughly 560 km² in Northern Raqqa.

On 10 December, the SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath, during which it captured over 2500 km² in Western Raqqa.

The campaign is ultimately aimed at isolating the ISIS radical group in its de facto capital.

Reporting by: Mir Yaqoub | Source: ARA News

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