SDF fighters liberate 97 villages in northwest of Raqqa, says spokesperson

SULAIMANI – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated 97 villages during the second stage of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates to liberate western Raqqa from the control of Islamic State (ISIS).

The Wrath of Euphrates Action Room Command held a briefing on Tuesday (December 20) regarding operations undertaken in the first 10 days of the second stage of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates in the northwest of Raqqa.

The command’s spokesperson, Jihan Shekh Ahmed, said SDF fighters had liberated 97 villages, as well as dozens of hamlets and strategic hills stretching over a total of 1300 square kilometers.

“Our fighters have reached the Euphrates after liberating a large area from ISIS militants,” the spokesperson added.

96 ISIS militants were killed and seven others taken captive during the offensive, while nine SDF fighters were also killed and 12 others wounded during the 10 day offensive, the Ahmed noted.

The Combined Joint Task Forces-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said in a statement provided to NRT on December 12 that SDF fighters had secured more than 1,800 square kilometers (700 square miles) at the time.

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

The SDF – comprised of Kurdish and Arab fighters and backed by the U.S.-led Coalition – has been fighting ISIS in northern Syria and quickly took control of the territory surrounding Manbij in June.

(NRT)

Image: Reuters/Rodi Said

Article: NRT