SDF announces fourth phase of campaign to liberate Raqqa

SULAIMANI – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Thursday (April 13) the beginning of the fourth phase of the offensive to oust Islamic State (ISIS) from the Syrian city of Raqqa.

The Wrath of Euphrates Operation Room Command released a statement on Thursday saying the fourth phase of the offensive is to liberate northern Raqqa and Jalab Valley from the militant group.

“The fourth phase of the campaign starts with the participation of many forces operating under [the] SDF and support of the international coalition,” the statement read.

“During this phase, SDF fighters on eastern and western fronts will advance towards Raqqa and liberate the Jalab Valley and northern Raqqa,” it added.

The Wrath of Euphrates Operation Room called on people living in those areas to support the SDF fighters and to stay away from ISIS positions in order to avoid being used as human shields by the militants.

The SDF announced on November 5 the beginning of operations to regain the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, saying that only 30,000 of its fighters, backed by anti-ISIS coalition countries, will take part in the campaign.

The SDF, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters who have been successfully fighting ISIS in northern Syria, has been steadily moving in on the jihadist group in Raqqa for the past six months.

Image: Reuters/Rodi Said

Article: NRT