The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Friday made new gains in the fight against Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants in Raqqa city, in northeastern Syria.
The Kurdish-led SDF units took control of the Sabahiya district in the western part of Raqqa city.
“The liberation of Sabahiya followed heavy clashes between our forces and Daesh terrorists on Friday,” a spokesman for the SDF told ARA News, using another acronym for ISIS.
“At least 14 Daesh terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured by the SDF fire, before the group gave up and retreated from the Sabahiya neighbourhood,” the official reported.
Sabahiya is the second neighbourhood of Raqqa city to be liberated by the SDF. On Wednesday, the Syrian Democratic Forces expelled ISIS from the Mashlab neighbourhood in the eastern part of Raqqa.
SDF officer Habun Osman told ARA News that their special teams started to clear both neighbourhoods of ISIS explosives.
Also on Friday, the Syrian Democratic Forces imposed a siege on the ISIS-held Raqqa Grain Silos in the northern part of the city, amidst ongoing clashes.
This comes after the US-backed SDF troops launched a major operation to liberate the city of Raqqa from ISIS radicals. On Tuesday, the SDF announced the official start of the operation to liberate the city of Raqqa from Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants.
The SDF forces released a statement on the launch of the final stage of liberating Raqqa. “This phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation includes the preparation for a major assault on the city of Raqqa–ISIS’s de facto capital,” SDF spokesman Talal Silo told a press conference.
Silo further said that there was no timeline for how long the operation will take before Raqqa is completely liberated from ISIS militants.
Raqqa has been known as a de facto capital for the ISIS self-proclaimed Caliphate since the summer of 2014.
The Kurdish-Arab-Christian alliance of SDF has been isolating Raqqa since November 2016, when the US-backed alliance launched the so-called Euphrates Wrath Operation.
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, 2016, the SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath, during which it captured over 2500 km² in Western Raqqa.
On 4 February, 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces launched the third phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, and liberated dozens of villages in Eastern Raqqa from ISIS jihadists.
The campaign is ultimately aimed at liberating the city of Raqqa from ISIS extremists.
Reporting by: Hozan Mamo | Source: ARA News
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