Raqqa – Clashes renewed on Friday between Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Raqqa city, in northeastern Syria.
The clashes, that centred in the western countryside of Raqqa, followed heavy bombardment by the SDF forces on ISIS headquarters in a number of villages.
“The Syrian Democratic Forces hit ISIS strongholds in the villages of Abu Jiyoub, Tarqa Gharbi and Jaabar, killing a number of ISIS militants and destroying several vehicles,” an SDF spokesman told ARA News.
At least 16 ISIS militants were killed and seven ISIS vehicles were destroyed in the attack.
“After the operation, clashes erupted and continued for nearly one hour on Friday evening, and resulted in the withdrawal of ISIS from those three villages,” the SDF official said.
This comes just two days after the Syrian Democratic Forces announced they had captured 97 villages in western Raqqa Governorate.
Friday’s progress was part of the ongoing second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation for Raqqa.
The SDF has so far captured more than 1300 km² in western Raqqa within the second phase of the operation, that started on December 10. During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, that was launched on November 6, the SDF captured roughly 560 km² of land in northern Raqqa.
The SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation with the objective of securing Raqqa’s western countryside and Tabqa Dam, which bridges the Euphrates River. The long-term objective of Euphrates Wrath is the elimination of the Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa city.
Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh | Source: ARA News