RAQQA – Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the US-led coalition’s air cover, recaptured on Monday new areas in the northern countryside of Raqqa after fierce clashes with militants of the Islamic State (ISIS), military sources reported.
The western-backed SDF expelled ISIS from nine new villages north Raqqa, including Rumela, Haji Ali, Abu al-Safa, Jinf, al-Ahmer, Khishkhash Kibir, Naqut, Bir Ama and Khirbat Jamila.
“Our forces made great gains north Raqqa today, after bombing tactical units of ISIS terrorists near Tabqa. Beside recapturing those nine villages, the SDF also seized control of three large farms from ISIS and destroyed two vehicles for the group,” SDF officer Habun Osman told ARA News.
At least 15 ISIS militants were killed in Monday’s clashes.
“The clashes are still ongoing, we may announce the liberation of new areas very soon,” the Kurdish officer said.
The SDF is now engaged in clashes with ISIS at four separate battlefronts north of Raqqa–the group’s de facto capital. Clashes continue between the SDF and ISIS in the Ain Issa district, Brigade 93, al-Nakhil area and the vicinity of Tabqa town on the eastern bank of Euphrates.
Speaking to ARA News, SDF official spokesman Talal Silo said that their special teams are trying to dismantle explosives left by ISIS in every area after liberation.
“The liberation of each village or town is only completed after it’s cleansed of all explosives and land mines left behind by ISIS terrorists,” Silo said. “Our specialised teams are working hard to dismantle all explosives in every liberated area.”
According to Silo, dismantling explosives takes some time, which causes a considerable delay in the progress of the entire Raqqa operation.
“However, we have already taken that into account. The safety of civilians is above all. The province and its people will once be liberated from this terrorist group. It may take time, but this day is definitely coming,” the SDF spokesman told ARA News.
Reporting by: Hozan Mamo and Ahmed Shiwesh
Source: ARA News
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