Only foreign IS fighters remain in Raqqa: SDF Spokesperson
RAQQA, Syria (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are only fighting foreign Islamic State (IS) fighters in Raqqa after a convoy of Syrian IS fighters and their families surrendered, an SDF spokesperson said on Sunday.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24, SDF spokesperson Talal Silo said fighting in Raqqa has not ended because there are still hundreds of IS militants in the city.
“About 300 Da’esh militants refused to surrender to our forces in Raqqa, so we launched the final assault to eliminate them,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
Silo added that the SDF, which the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are a key component, launched the final assault in the city after a group of IS fighters said to be Syrians surrendered to the Kurdish-led forces.
In an online statement, Jihan Sheikh Ahmad, a spokesperson for the operation room of the Raqqa offensive dubbed “Wrath of Euphrates,” said, “275 Syrian Da’esh militants from Raqqa, with their families, surrendered to our forces.”
The withdrawal deal between IS and Raqqa tribal elders revealed the extremists would let all other civilians trapped in the city have a safe passage to the liberated areas.
Additionally, in an online statement on Sunday, the SDF said they were fighting in a space covering less than 10 percent of Raqqa city.
“Our forces liberated Al-Bareed neighborhood, and they are still fighting in Al-Badu neighborhood,” the statement read.
Al-Bareed and Al-Badu neighborhoods are located in the northwest of the city.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany