US-backed SDF troops storm ISIS strongholds in Raqqa, kill scores of militants

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Islamic State convoy. File photo

ARA News

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday continued their operations against ISIS headquarters in the city of Raqqa, in northeastern Syria.

At least 23 ISIS militants were killed by SDF fire, including a jihadist leader.

“The Syrian Democratic Forces hit ISIS strongholds in the northwestern part of Raqqa city. The heavy artillery bombardment caused massive destruction to an ISIS security centre in the area,” SDF officer Habun Osman told ARA News.

“At least 23 terrorists were killed in the shelling, among them was the head of ISIS security in the area,” the Kurdish officer said.

In the meantime, clashes broke out in the al-Kournish district south of the city after SDF fighters infiltrated into a major ISIS camp.

“The clashes are still ongoing in al-Kournish, particularly in the Shehada square,” Osman reported.

SDF sources reported the death of two of their fighters and the injury of four others in Thursday’s clashes.

This comes after the SDF launched a major operation to liberate the city of Raqqa from ISIS radicals.

Raqqa has been known as a de facto capital for the ISIS self-proclaimed Caliphate since the summer of 2014.

On June 6, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the official start of the battle for Raqqa city.

On Friday, July 14, Army General Joseph Votel, commander of the U.S. Central Command, said that the battle for Raqqa will take months.

“A large city, an indigenous force, a well-prepared enemy. We would expect they [ISIS] are going to fight harder, and more aggressively than they are and a large part of that is going to be exploited again. So I think it is going to be a challenging fight and it will take months,” he stated.

Reporting by: Dilber Issa | Source: ARA News

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