usbacked syrian force launches battle to capture raqqa from is
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
Arab Today, arab today

US-backed Syrian force launches battle to capture Raqqa from IS

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today US-backed Syrian force launches battle to capture Raqqa from IS

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Silo speaks during a press conference in Hukoumiya
Hukoumiya (Syria)/Beirut - Arab Today

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Tuesday it had launched a battle to capture Raqqa, IS's de facto Syrian capital, piling pressure on the militants whose self-declared caliphate is in retreat across Syria and Iraq.

SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters the operation started on Monday and the fighting would be "fierce because Daesh (IS) will die to defend their so-called capital". 

The assault overlaps with the final stages of the U.S.-backed attack to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from IS. It follows months of advances to the north, east and west of Raqqa by the SDF, which includes Arab and Kurdish militias.

IS captured Raqqa from rebel groups in 2014 and has used it as an operations base to plan attacks in the West. Silo said the assault had begun from the north, east and west of the city, which is bordered to the south by the River Euphrates.

The commander of the Raqqa campaign, Rojda Felat, told Reuters SDF fighters were attacking the Al Mishlab district at the city's southeastern outskirts, confirming an earlier report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The coalition has a big role in the success of the operations. In addition to warplanes, there are coalition forces working side by side with the SDF," Silo said by phone from the Hukoumiya farms area, 10 km (6 miles) north of Raqqa, where the SDF later declared the start of the assault.

A Reuters witness at the location could hear the sound of heavy shelling and air strikes in the distance.

An Arab group in the SDF, the Syrian Elite Forces, which was established in February, had entered Al Mishlab with coalition air support, its spokesman Mohammed Al Shaker said by phone.

"The Syrian Elite Forces one or two hours ago entered the first quarter of Raqqa, which is Al Mishlab quarter, via the eastern front," he said.

The U.S.-led coalition said the fight for Raqqa would be "long and difficult" but would deliver a "decisive blow to the idea of ISIS (IS ) as a physical caliphate".

"It’s hard to convince new recruits that ISIS is a winning cause when they just lost their twin 'capitals' in both Iraq and Syria," a coalition statement cited Lt. Gen Steve Townsend, the coalition commanding general, as saying.

"We all saw the heinous attack in Manchester, England," said Townsend. "ISIS threatens all of our nations, not just Iraq and Syria, but in our own homelands as well. This cannot stand."

"Once ISIS is defeated in both Mosul and (Raqqa), there will still be a lot of hard fighting ahead," he said.

Security officials in the West have warned of increased threat of attacks such as last month's Manchester suicide bombing and Saturday's attack in London as IS loses ground in Syria and Iraq.

Both attacks were claimed by IS.

The Observatory said the SDF had captured some buildings in the Al Mishlab area, and that IS fighters had withdrawn from parts of the district. The Observatory also said an attack was underway against a military barracks, Division 17, on the northern outskirts of Raqqa.

The U.S.-led coalition has said 3,000-4,000 IS militants are thought to be holed up in Raqqa city, where they have erected defences against the anticipated assault. The city is about 90 km (56 miles) from the border with Turkey.

The SDF includes the powerful Kurdish YPG militia.

Fighting around Raqqa since late last year has displaced tens of thousands of people, with many flooding camps in the area and others stranded in the desert.

The U.N. human rights office has raised concerns about increasing reports of civilian deaths as air strikes escalate.

The Raqqa campaign has "resulted in massive civilian casualties, displacement and serious infrastructure destruction" so far, it said in a May report. IS militants have also reportedly been preventing civilians from leaving, it said.

The U.S.-led coalition says it tries to avoid civilian casualties in its bombing runs in Syria and Iraq and investigates any allegations.

The Raqqa campaign has been the source of tension between the United States and Turkey, which fears growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria and has lobbied Washington to abandon its Kurdish YPG allies.

The YPG has been the main partner for the United States in its campaign against IS in Syria, where the group is also being fought in separate campaigns waged by the Russian-backed Syrian government and Free Syrian Army rebel groups.

The United States last week said it had started distributing arms to the YPG to help take Raqqa.

The SDF has said it will hand control of Raqqa to a civilian council from the city after its capture, echoing the pattern in other areas the SDF took from IS.

Speaking alongside Silo at the news conference, an official with the Raqqa civilian council said it would take control of the city from the "liberating forces".

The SDF and YPG control a swathe of northeastern Syria from the Iraqi border to the city of Manbij on the western banks of the Euphrates. The main Kurdish groups and their allies have established autonomous administration in the areas under their control, which they aim to preserve in any peace deal.

Source: Timesofoman

 

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

usbacked syrian force launches battle to capture raqqa from is usbacked syrian force launches battle to capture raqqa from is

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

usbacked syrian force launches battle to capture raqqa from is usbacked syrian force launches battle to capture raqqa from is

 



Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 13:29 2018 Friday ,14 December

Turkey targets military over alleged Gulen links

GMT 09:47 2018 Monday ,10 December

Russian ex-policeman convicted over 56 murders

GMT 21:21 2018 Thursday ,13 December

US begins crackdown on Iran sanctions violations

GMT 14:33 2018 Wednesday ,12 December

Political turbulence likely to continue unabated in 2019

GMT 16:22 2018 Friday ,07 December

UAE exhibition Numaish back with 70 designers

GMT 10:37 2015 Saturday ,08 August

Dubai tourism to go up

GMT 12:41 2016 Tuesday ,20 December

AU probes death of 6 civilians in Somalia

GMT 12:29 2016 Monday ,26 September

'The Magnificent Seven' tops North American box office

GMT 05:57 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Indonesia explores new, alternative tourism markets

GMT 06:48 2016 Tuesday ,12 January

Pope Francis urges Europe to keep welcoming migrants

GMT 13:24 2017 Tuesday ,12 December

INJAZ organizes Innovation Camp

GMT 10:38 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Reasons behind neglecting cartoons in Ramadan

GMT 12:57 2017 Sunday ,05 February

Actor Ahmed Ezz expects success of new film

GMT 06:43 2017 Tuesday ,24 January

Xiaomi’s Barra quits China for Silicon Valley

GMT 08:39 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

UN warns of conflict in Gaza
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday