Syrian Democratic Forces train new Arab recruits to join anti-ISIS operations

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Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a military camp west of Raqqa. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Raqqa – In cooperation with the US-led coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have rapidly scaled up their military training programs. On Friday, the SDF announced that they had trained 365 Arabs from Raqqa and that these raw fighters were heading to the front.

“This is the second military training [program] for the SDF to prepare new factions. The training was facilitated and supported by the US-led coalition,” explained Talal Silo, the Syrian Democratic Forces’ official spokesman. “The newly trained fighters will join the Euphrates Wrath Operation.”

The Syrian Democratic Forces launched the Euphrates Wrath Operation on November 6. The campaign has been planned out stage-by-stage, with the goal of isolating and eventually eliminating the Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa city.

Thousands of Arabs have enlisted in the Syrian Democratic Forces. Some of the enlistees previously fought under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, while others used to operate independently.

Several predominantly Arab factions are also engaged in Euphrates Wrath, including the Syrian Elite Forces, Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade and the Deir ez-Zor Military Council.

Imad Menno, an SDF military instructor, told ARA News that US Special Forces had played a key role in training the new SDF recruits. “Coalition experts have participated in training our forces in combat skills,” he said.

The SDF was formed after the US-led coalition began cooperating with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) against their mutual antagonist, the Islamic State (ISIS). The Syrian Democratic Forces’ polyethnic umbrella expanded as they expelled ISIS jihadists from mixed areas in northern Syria.

 

The SDF and the US-led coalition have liberated 37 km2 so far as part of the second phase of the operation. During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, SDF soldiers captured an area measuring approximately 560 km2.

Military sources told ARA News that more than 200 ISIS jihadists have been killed since November 6. Cihan Shekh Ehmed, an SDF spokesperson, declared that the “operation will continue until all of its goals are accomplished.”

Reporting by: Heysem Heci | Source: ARA News

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