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

PrivateEye | 9/21/2018 2:46:17 PM
Coward chicken
Guest | 9/21/2018 6:32:25 PM
The people of Kurdistan better gather this man into their arms and hold on tight.
Najmaldin Karim says he's not with PUK or KDP
| yesterday at 07:19 | (11)
Ahmed27 | 9/21/2018 4:37:55 PM
The 2017 referendum will take the Kurds to independence for sure. And that day all the traitors will cry! Bji Barzani
Guest | 9/21/2018 6:24:57 PM
I know this article doesn't reflect the views of all people in Kurdistan, but I resent what the writer said in the last part of this article where he...
September 25: The unforgettable day Kurds voted to leave Iraq
| 9 hours ago | (6)
thurgood bardico | 9/21/2018 5:58:23 PM
"Moderate opposition"... LOL
Turkey, Russia agree on Idlib demilitarized zone borders
| 8 hours ago | (1)
Zanyarkermashani | 9/21/2018 1:07:49 PM
When you kill soldiers border guards, dont complain. Even Saddam used you ad puppets against Iran.
Victoria Kermashani | 9/21/2018 5:27:27 PM
Shame on you Zanyarkermashani! Nobody is killig the soldiers on the borders, but the peshmerga forces have to d fend themselves when they are...
Scarred for life, Kurds from Iran plead for UN intervention after Koya attack
| 14 hours ago | (2)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

PUK list head Talabani says not to retaliate after election posters slashed 9 hours ago | (1)

PUK list head Talabani says not to retaliate after election posters slashed

“I call on members and supporters of all parties more
September 25: The unforgettable day Kurds voted to leave Iraq 9 hours ago | (6)

September 25: The unforgettable day Kurds voted to leave Iraq

They traded the Kurds and the votes of millions more
Northern Syria officials overwhelmed by detained ISIS fighters request int’l help 11 hours ago | (3)

Northern Syria officials overwhelmed by detained ISIS fighters request int’l help

"Now every country has moral, human and legal more
0.531 seconds