Northern Syria: Kurdish-led SDF liberate 35 villages

On Monday, the number of liberated villages by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reached about 35 at the seventh day of the operation in the northern countryside of the Islamic State's de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa.

AIN ISSA, Syrian Kurdistan (Kutrdistan24) – On Monday, the number of liberated villages by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reached about 35 at the seventh day of the operation in the northern countryside of the Islamic State's de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa.

Kurdistan24 correspondent embedded with the SDF, Ekrem Salih, reported on Monday that the US-backed forces liberated about ten villages north of Raqqa.

Salih further added that the operation launched last week is operating on four axes: the Kurdish-held town of Ain Issa (an SDF-controlled town some 70 km/40 miles to the north of Raqqa), east of Ain Issa, west of the town, and the fourth axis to the IS-held area of Tabqa, some 60 km (40 miles), to the west of Raqqa.

Kurdistan24 correspondent interviewed several SDF fighters and commanders who preferred to remain unidentified as there have been no official statements by the SDF leadership yet.

[Kurdistan24 correspondent embedded with the SDF, Ekrem Salih, talks to a fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a military point south of Ain Issa, northern Raqqa, Syria,  May 26, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)] 

An SDF commander told Kurdistan24 that about 16 villages were liberated three days ago on Ain Issa axis, 5 others on eastern axis, 4 on western axis, and 10 on the fourth axis towards Tabqa.

Regarding the casualties, Salih said that so far no accurate number is available. The SDF leadership has not released any official statements on all the battles of the northern Raqqa.

On Sunday, the SDF press office said in a statement that the SDF captured about 29 IS militiamen.

“The 29 IS terrorists were hiding in a dispensary in a village called Om Hajar north of Raqqa, and they surrendered after our forces warned them that an airstrike would hit the clinic they were hiding in,” the statement said.

Additionally, the Syria-based Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported on Monday that dozens of IS fighters were killed on the fourth axis and the SDF kept about 10 IS corpses.

Regarding the US support, SDF press office said on May 24 in a statement that they received dozens of US-made GRT tanks as a land support.

On May 24, the general command of the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched the northern-countryside-of-Raqqa operation.

 

Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Ava Homa