Western-backed forces report new gains eastern Syria, approaching Raqqa

SDF leadership announcing the liberation of new areas from ISIS in Syria's Hasakah. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

HASAKAH ــ Within its military campaign against the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS), the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have reportedly reached the borders of the group’s main bastion of Raqqa, eastern Syria, local sources reported on Sunday.

The SDF, which includes the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) along with allied Arab and Christian groups, have arrived in the village of al-Malha (30 km southwest of Shaddadi) in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

The Kurdish-Arab alliance aims to create a security belt around Hasakah province and the city of Tel Abyad (Gire Spi) to deter any possible attacks by ISIS.

Speaking to ARA News in Shaddadi, media activist Hussein Bakry reported: “After having captured the area of Abu Fas southwest Shaddadi in battles with the terror group, the SDF forces have been about 4 km from the al-Malha village on border with Raqqa.” 

Al-Maliha separates Hasakah province from Raqqa, the ISIS de facto capital in Syria. 

The intensity of clashes between ISIS and the SDF has decreased relatively as the latter started focusing on the fortification of liberated areas. ISIS has been under enormous pressure from all sides, especially with the Syrian army forces advancement in the ancient city of Palmyra on Sunday.

The hardline group, after having received painful blows from the coalition air force during the past few months, tries to compensate its losses through intensifying suicide operations against the SDF and the other rival forces on the ground in Syria and Iraq.

Reporting by: Qehreman Miste

Source: ARA News

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