ARA News

Syrian Democratic Forces announce liberation of 60% of Raqqa city

ARA News

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated 60% of Raqqa city since the launch of a major operation against Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists in the key city on June 6, 2017.

Talal Silo, the SDF’s official spokesman, said that they are making steady advances against ISIS in its de facto capital of Raqqa and now control 60 per cent of the city.

“Soon we will all celebrate the liberation of the city of Raqqa, this beautiful city that they [ISIS jihadists] made it the capital of terrorism and terrorists,” Brigadier Talal Silo said.

Moreover, the SDF spokesperson said that Turkey continues to threaten and attack areas in Syria, but that the SDF forces are not scared of them.

“The Syrian Democratic Forces love martyrdom and whoever loves martyrdom will inevitably be victorious,” he concluded.

Silo’s statement came during the celebration of the first anniversary of the liberation of Manbij city in northern Syria from ISIS militants.

The city of Manbij has served for over two years as a main ISIS jihadi pocket on the Syrian-Turkish border. Supported by the US-led coalition, the SDF liberated the city and its countryside in mid-August.

Now the SDF forces are fighting in Raqqa and hope to establish a similar Manbij model in Raqqa, with the Raqqa Civil Council and Raqqa’s Internal Security Forces (RISF).

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.

Isolating ISIS Capital 

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.

On 13 April, the Syrian Democratic Forces launched the fourth phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation against Islamic State’s extremists to clear out the northern countryside of 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, 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: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News