RAQQA – Col. Talal Silo, Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) Official Spokesman, said in an exclusive interview with ARA News that their operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Northern Raqqa would continue in cooperation with the western coalition.
“Everything is going according to plan in our (SDF) campaign for the liberation of northern Raqqa from ISIS terrorists. Our forces are advancing in a great way, in cooperation and coordination with the US-led coalition,” he said. “Our ground operations are conducted in direct coordination with the coalition’s air force.”
Speaking of the recent SDF gains in Raqqa, the official told ARA News: “Several villages and farms have been liberated in the northern countryside of Raqqa so far. Until now we lost two martyrs, while the ISIS terror group has lost dozens of militants. Strategic areas have been liberated, and our forces are currently advancing towards southern Ain Issa [north of Raqqa].”
The SDF official spokesman stressed that their forces operate according to a strategic plan that includes securing liberated areas to avoid civilian casualties.
“We are operating in accordance with a strategic plan, by cleansing the areas not only from those terrorists but also from the explosives they leave behind, so it takes some time but the liberation of every region is being complete once we announce it,” Silo said.
“We are used to the ISIS strategy of planting land-mines and explosives before leaving any area; we know how to deal with the situation.”
Regarding the news about ISIS-led attacks on areas recently liberated from the group, the SDF official said: “Those are mere rumours which the terror group is trying to spread in a bid to raise the morale of its fighters.”
“We are working according to a clear and strategic plan, so we won’t respond to the ISIS propaganda,” he said.
Responding to ARA News’ question about the US special forces sent to Syria to back the SDF within the anti-ISIS campaign, Silo said: “As the US administration has announced, we (SDF) have been provided with military experts and trainers.”
“Those American experts are here to train our forces and help us coordinate our ground operations with the US-led coalition’s aircraft,” he said. “The US experts are not here to join the fight as the media is trying to spread, they are here to only provide us with the expertise we need to carry out the anti-ISIS operations. They just provide consultations and military training to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).”
“We have seen those American experts with insignia of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on their shoulders, and this reflects their compassion with the YPG which is a main member of the SDF fighting ISIS in northern Syria,” the official told ARA News.
“We have also seen many foreign volunteers joining the ranks of the Kurdish YPG forces for their belief in the cause of those units that have sacrificed a lot in the fight against ISIS terrorists to maintain civil peace in this region. So it’s pretty normal that the American experts also want to show their belief in the fair cause of the YPG [thus the SDF] in fighting terrorism,” Silo concluded.
Source: ARA News
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