Fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria said they had uncovered tunnels used by Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Raqqa after retaking new areas in the western edge of the city.
The tunnels were dug out inside apartment buildings and connected houses together. They also provided cover for the militants from airstrikes, one YPG unit commander said.
“We found the tunnel here, we heard that the civilians who were prisoners with them, they used to have them dig tunnels and build berms. In front us we have more tunnels but now it is difficult to reach them,” Adel Kobani said.
“The whole area here has been liberated until the area of Al Bareed, we are now on the western edge of Raqqa and things are good and we are in control and the fighters’ morale is high and thank God things are good and our comrades are making progress and most of the area is now in our control,” Kobani added.
The YPG is part of a U.S.-backed Syrian coalition of Kurdish and Arab groups that is currently advancing on Raqqa, the capital of IS territory. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began its assault on Raqqa earlier this month after a long campaign to isolate Islamic State inside the city.
The SDF has pushed Islamic State from swathes of northern Syria over the past 18 months. Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have also taken territory from it and the Syrian army has this year advanced rapidly against it in desert areas.