SULUK, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan24) - On Sunday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the resumption of the offensive launched last month to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State (IS).
In an interview with Kurdistan24, the SDF spokesperson Talal Silo said the second phase of the offensive aims at liberating the western rural areas of Raqqa and then separating the city.
Silo added that more Arab brigades of the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition joined the SDF in the second phase of the offensive.
"The Nukhbat Brigade joined our forces [SDF] under the supervision of the US-led international coalition as a separate ally, not part of our forces," he said.
Additionally, in a statement submitted to Kurdistan24 on Saturday, the SDF higher command said about 1,500 Arab fighters from Raqqa and its rural areas joined the operation recently.
"We emphasize that our coordination with the international coalition is continuously effective and fruitful, and this coordination will be stronger and more influential during the second phase of the campaign until we achieve complete victory against terrorism," the statement read.
The statement further pointed out that in the first phase of the operation that was launched last month, about 700 km2 were liberated in addition to dozens of villages and strategic towns.
"Our forces [SDF] freed thousands of civilians from the areas under the rule of Daesh [IS] by opening safe corridors," the statement read.
On Nov. 5, the YPG-led SDF launched the first phase of the operation to drive IS from its de facto capital in Syria.
In the first phase, the SDF liberated dozens of villages in the northern countryside of Raqqa in addition to two strategic towns: Hisha and Tal Samin.
Editing by Ava Homa