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SDF maintains progress in Raqqa while continuing Deir ez-Zor push

By Rudaw 13/9/2017
The western neighborhood of al-Dariya in Raqqa city on September 5. Photo: Delil Souleiman | AFP
The western neighborhood of al-Dariya in Raqqa city on September 5. Photo: Delil Souleiman | AFP

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced they are continuing to advance into the center of Raqqa city where they have been thwarting car bomb and suicide attacks.

"And within that frame, the clashes are continuing since last night between the Syrian Democratic fighters and the ISIS mercenaries at the surrounding areas of al-Watani hospital and the Rashid garden located in al-Amin neighborhood that is in the city center," SDF detailed in a statement late on Tuesday night. 

The SDF, half of whose forces are members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), are backed by the US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

Conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Wednesday the SDF backed by US Special Forces were flushing ISIS militants out of al-Thankanah neighborhood.

The movements are "an attempt to clamp down more on the organization within what remains for the organization within the city," according to the UK-based monitor.

SOHR also reported "minimizing ISIS organization's scope of control" has meant an escalation of aerial bombing in areas within, north, and south of the city.

The spokesperson for the coalition tweeted on Tuesday that "SDF hold more than 60 percent of Raqqa; 35 blocks cleared of ISIS this week..."

In addition to Raqqa campaign that began on June 6 and was part of Wrath of the Euphrates, the SDF began a Jazira Storm operation on Saturday, advancing into parts of the city within the first day.

The Syrian Arab Army, backed by Russia and Iran, has simultaneous operations ongoing in Deir ez-Zor.

The US-led Coalition told Rudaw English that as of Tuesday, SDF partner forces "have liberated approximately 42,000 square-kilometers in Syria" which is estimated to be "77 percent of the territory previously held by ISIS."


Raqqa was the ISIS group's self-declared capital.


Dutchman | 13/9/2017
The SDF and the coalition of 72 countries practically defeated ISIS some months ago. Last few months the SAA took advantage of the situation by taking large desert territories from ISIS. That is fine for the momnent, but the SDF should prevent Assad from taking populated territories in Deir ez-Zor. Assads troups used chemical weapons from bases where also Russians were present, as the UN concluded clearly. This UN report is no opinion, but a final conclusion without any doubt.
raqqa-will-be-dangerous-to-get | 15/9/2017
sdf must be very careful in raqqa now, because isis sviebd´s and bomb traps, remote bombs, and of corse snipers. sdf , ypg are not careful enough to safe their bodies from damage. and they even don´t safe their ears. it´s important to have ear protection. especially when you fire from inside a house. they have also no eyes and mouth protection against the sand. they are really not careful with their health and lives.
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