Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Syria

A coalition commander discusses means of return in visit with Raqqa Council

By Rudaw 23/7/2017
British Army Major General Rupert Jones, the Deputy Commander-Strategy and Support for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, visits Ain Issa on Sunday, July 23. Photo: SDF Press
British Army Major General Rupert Jones, the Deputy Commander-Strategy and Support for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, visits Ain Issa on Sunday, July 23. Photo: SDF Press

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Major General Rupert Jones, deputy commander (strategy and support) in the US-led anti-ISIS Global Coalition, met with the Kurdish-led Raqqa Civilian Council in Syria on Sunday to discuss rehabilitation of infrastructure and basic humanitarian needs.

“The liberation of Raqqa, as with the liberation of Mosul, is not the end. It's actually the start of the process. The real healing starts once the fight is over. The people of Raqqa, the city of Raqqa, will have been through an extraordinarily trauma under Daesh occupation, and that's what I've discussed with the civil council today,” Jones said at a press conference in Ain Issa.

“I've met with this council on four occasions in Ain Issa,” the British Army officer added. “It's an interim council. It's focused on helping the people of Raqqa. It is representative of Al-Raqqa.”

The Coalition partnered Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stated Jones' comes in the midst of "the battle for liberating Raqqa and the Wrath of the Euphrates Campaign that is moving forward to end the existence of the terrorist organization," referencing ISIS.

Omar Alloush, a member of the Raqqa council's relations office, and Abdullah Al-Arian, the director of the services committee, and Abdulsalam Hamsourk, the director of the office of humanitarian organizations, received Jones, the SDF announced.

In video released by ANHA, media affiliated with the local fighters, the British commander is greeted by local officials in Ain Issa, north of the ISIS-held Raqqa city.

According to the SDF statement, Jones discussed what can be done to rehabilitate the infrastructure and the possibility of providing basic services which would help civilians return to their villages.

Alloush told ANHA that while such visits are nothing new, it is important that this time they Coalition offered to help both politically and also in terms of services. 

He also reportedly said that their support to the local authorities includes helping with rebuilding infrastructure, including electricity, water, and education. Additionally they will help with providing food for now to the many thousands of the displaced people in the province.

The SDF, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab armed forces, launched an offensive to recapture Raqqa in November of last year. 

The US Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition Brett McGurk revealed earlier in July that the current SDF-installed Raqqa Civilian Council is “interim” and that the Council has committed to hold elections by May next year so that the local people would be in charge of their own destiny.

The US envoy visited Raqqa late last month and met with the Raqqa Civilian Council. A Council member had said that it was his third visit to the province.

The US-backed SDF made fast advances against the ISIS militants in Raqqa, making their way into the city’s center and breaking through the Old City. The advances however have slowed back recently, with ISIS militants said to use a network of tunnels and sniper fire as their weapons.

On Thursday, some 250 people recruited from Raqqa graduated from an intensive US-sponsored training in partnership with the SDF that prepares an internal security force to hold and secure the areas liberated from the ISIS militants.

Trainer Wissam, a Kurdish local commander from Ain Isa, told the AP that they have trained a total of 800 recruits so far, including the Thursday's graduates, and have been deployed to different parts of Raqqa province.

The trainer also said that that another 500 are soon to receive training. 

AP reported that some American trainers who oversee the force and the preparation attended the graduation in Ain Isa desert on Thursday. 

One American official at the site said the Internal Security Forces of Raqqa are not a combat or police force, but are trained to be a hold force in the areas as they are liberated from Islamic State group militants, AP reported. 

The Coalition announced on July 20 that ISIS has now lost 73 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq in August 2014 and 58 percent of that in Syria.


Territory remaining under ISIS control is in red (through June 2017). Image: Global Coalition


Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

kurt basar | 12/13/2017 7:27:05 AM
Yes. it was & it's, except there is no such thing exist as an independent Iraq, but from now on you can call it the Southern Iran, with blessing of...
duroi | 12/13/2017 9:34:58 AM
Let's see who will replace him next month.
US: Implementation of Iraqi constitution addresses Kurdish grievances
| 22 hours ago | (2)
Hander | 12/13/2017 9:00:39 AM
Very interesting. Thank you.
Pilgrims visit ancient church named for Christian convert
| 22 hours ago | (1)
guest2002 | 12/12/2017 5:31:10 PM
From all the speech , the printer messed up when it got to the Peshmarga!!! These shiia jihadis are idiots!!!
Jagerxin derashy | 12/13/2017 6:31:48 AM
Bullshit! They all all heard the word that come out of Iraqi officials mouths including PM abadi,! They never mentioned peshmerga’ abadi wasn’t...
Baghdad claims 'printing error' for omitting Kurdish Peshmerga
| yesterday at 12:45 | (5)
Yassir Fekaiki
Yassir Fekaiki | 12/12/2017 7:27:38 PM
they should start with Prime Minster and Deputy Prime minister offices and salaries as they have gained enough and do not need to be on any salary in...
Azad | 12/13/2017 5:57:41 AM
What a joke. 1.2 million employees in a krg that has a population of 4.5m . Thats a whoppping 26% of the total population. In contrast, most...
KRG to make more salary cuts in 2018 after losing Kirkuk oil
| yesterday at 09:51 | (2)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

YPG claim they killed 2 Turkish soldiers near Kobane 7 hours ago |

YPG claim they killed 2 Turkish soldiers near Kobane

Turkish soldiers wanted to cross the border into more
Iraqi presidency calls for immediate dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad 9 hours ago |

Iraqi presidency calls for immediate dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad

Talks should begin under the watch of Iraqi more
KRG reveals plans for radical reforms to salary system 11 hours ago |

KRG reveals plans for radical reforms to salary system

If reforms go as planned, KRG will be able to pay more
0.391 seconds