AYN ISSA, Syria – Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have advanced 12 kilometres towards Raqqa after two days of its military offensive to liberate ISIS’ de facto capital, according to a statement on the campaign’s Facebook page.
The United States, France and Britain said they would provide air support for the offensive, which was announced at a news conference in Ayn Issa, 50 kilometres north of Raqqa, on Sunday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday that coalition airstrikes “led to massive casualties” for ISIS.
And “no less than 6 SDF were killed while others were wounded by suicide attacks, clashes, and mutual bombardment,” the Observatory stated.
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirmed in a press briefing on Monday that the SDF “have made progress since they began their movement towards Raqqa” the US Department of Defense reported.
The Raqqa offensive, dubbed Wrath of Euphrates, which aims initially at isolating and encircling the city, increases the pressure on ISIS, making it harder for its fighters to move reinforcements between Syria and Iraq.
The city, which has been under IS control since early 2014, is home to some of the group's top leaders and is seen as the key to defeating the group militarily.