AYN AL ISSA – Rojda Felat, the commander of the Northern Raqqa campaign told ARA News that the operations against ISIS extremists are continuing for the fourth day. This despite rumours that operations have stopped.
“Since the beginning of the campaign we have captured six villages and four farms [from ISIS],” she said.
In an exclusive interview with ARA News, the Kurdish female commander denied reports that the operations were halted and blamed the heavy mined areas.
“The border line of our areas is mined, so demining this area takes time,” she said.
Furthermore, local fighters told ARA News that the Islamic state is using human shields and prevent civilians from leaving Raqqa.
Felat said that so far the operation is only taking place for taking northern Raqqa.
“It depends on the situation and the strategic changes on the ground,” she added.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the female commander Felat launched an operation on 24 May to liberate the northern countryside of Raqqa form ISIS.
She told ARA News that this has no affect on the cooperation between Kurds and the more conservative tribal Arbas in the SDF.
“This culture is broken because many women join the SDF, including Arabs, Kurds, and Syriacs,” she added.
“We in the SDF have no difference between men and women,” she said.
Nevertheless, while many Arab men are joining the SDF-forces, the number of Arab women joining the SDF is quite limited. So far mostly female Kurds join the battle against the Islamic State.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News