Raqqa – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued to advance in Raqqa Governorate on Monday, driving Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists out of four villages.
“The advance came after the Syrian Democratic Forces hit the Islamic State’s headquarters in western Raqqa with heavy artillery,” the SDF Media Office told ARA News.
Military sources confirmed that the Syrian Democratic Forces had liberated Bir Shallal, Um Salim, Safakher and Ajaj, east of the Tabqa Dam Reservoir. At least 18 ISIS militants were killed.
Monday’s advance comes just one day after the SDF expelled ISIS militants from seven villages in Raqqa Governorate – Merwaniya, Krajah, Hamer Saghir, Hamer Kabir, Qerefdan and Draniya.
The SDF have released several statements, inducing the jihadists in Raqqa to surrender. Their statement on Monday was hair-raising.
“To the jihadists of the so-called Islamic State, our fire will soon reach downtown Raqqa and by then you won’t be able to escape,” the SDF said. “This is the final call: either surrender to the Syrian Democratic Forces or die.”
Liberating Raqqa’s Western Countryside
The Syrian Democratic Forces announced the beginning of the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation on Saturday. While the first phase focused on securing both banks of the Balikh River, the second phase aims “at liberating the western countryside of Raqqa.”
The long-term objective of Euphrates Wrath is the elimination of the Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa city.
The SDF and the US-led coalition have liberated 37 km2 so far as part of the second phase of the operation. During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, SDF soldiers captured an area measuring approximately 560 km2.
Military sources told ARA News that more than 200 ISIS jihadists have been killed since November 6. Cihan Shekh Ehmed, an SDF spokesperson, declared that the “operation will continue until all of its goals are accomplished.”
Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh | Source: ARA News