Over 2,000 civilians flee Raqqa into SDF-held areas


Displaced civilians from Raqqa arrive to SDF-held areas north of the province. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have opened a corridor and safety passage for more than 2,000 civilians fleeing ISIS-held areas in Raqqa, local sources reported on Tuesday.

The Kurdish-led  SDF managed to open a safe passage for Arab civilians fleeing ISIS in the eastern countryside of Raqqa.

Amin Hussein, one of the displaced from Raqqa, said that ISIS has been trying to use the civilians as human shields.

“But the Syrian Democratic Forces helped us, and opened up a safe passage to rid us from the ISIS mercenaries,” he said.

“We want the Syrian Democratic Forces to liberate our villages and cities quickly to get rid of ISIS terrorists and their practices,” Hussein told the local Hawar agency.

According to a spokesperson of the US-led coalition, the SDF forces have liberated large parts of Raqqa’s countryside.

“Syrian Democratic Forces continue operations to isolate Raqqa along two axes east of the city,” US-led coalition spokesperson Air Force Col John L. Dorrian said on 15 March.

“Our partners have rolled back ISIS territorial gains to the east, north and west of the city, capturing more than 7,400 square kilometers of territory,” he said.

“To support our partners’ operations, the coalition has conducted airstrikes which have destroyed more than 130 enemy armored and soft-skin vehicles, 57 vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and more than 450 enemy fighting positions, enabling the momentum of the campaign to continue,” he added.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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