Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 4 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Raqqa campaign in final stages: SDF
September 21, 2017
 Print    Send to Friend

BEIRUT: The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Wednesday its campaign to capture Raqqa from Daesh was in its final stages and its fighters had seized 80 per cent of the city.

In its fight against a separate operation waged by the Syrian army and its allies, Daesh has collapsed along the west bank of the Euphrates downstream of Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

Daesh has lost swathes of territory in Syria this year, attacked from the north by the SDF and from the west by the Syrian army, which has pushed it back across the desert to its last strongholds in the Euphrates valley.

The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, launched its offensive on the militant group in Raqqa city in June, backed by US-led air strikes and special forces on the ground.

The city had served as Daesh’s de facto capital in Syria.

In a statement on Wednesday, the SDF said it had opened a new front against Daesh on the northern edge of Raqqa. This was “a feature of the final stages of the Euphrates Wrath campaign, which is nearing its end.”

“We can say that 80 per cent of the city of Raqqa has been liberated,” the statement said.

An SDF media official said the main obstacles facing the alliance in Raqqa are avoiding civilian casualties and a high concentration of mines.

He estimated that 700 to 1,000 Daesh militants remain in the city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that Daesh now controls only 5 per cent of the city and its remaining militants there have nearly run out of food and munitions.

In Deir Al Zor province of eastern Syria, Daesh is battling two separate offensives, launched by the SDF on one side and the Syrian army and its allies on the other.

The Syrian army, backed by Russian and Syrian war planes, has captured about 100km of the west bank of the Euphrates this month, reaching Raqqa provincial border on Wednesday, the Observatory reported. Syrian troops also crossed to the eastern side of the river on Monday.

The SDF’s advances have been on the eastern bank of the river.

The convergence of the two rival offensives has increased tensions in Deir Al Zor.

The US-backed militia on Monday warned against any further Syrian army advances on the eastern riverbank.

On Tuesday, Russia’s Defence Ministry said the Euphrates had risen as soon as the Syrian army began crossing it.

The only way that could have happened was if upstream dams held by the US-backed opposition had been opened, it said.

A fire at a major gas field known as Conoco raged through on Tuesday night and into Wednesday, the Observatory said, after Syrian state media reported that the army was advancing towards it.

Daesh had fled the area, the Observatory added.

The hardline militants lost their main stronghold in Iraq, the city of Mosul, in July to Western-backed Iraqi forces.

Reuters
 

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Next round of Syria talks on Oct.30: Kazakhstan
ASTANA: Fresh talks on the Syria conflict will be held in Astana at the end of the month, Kazakhstan said on Thursday, as part of a Moscow-led push to end the six-year co..
Raqa fighters prepare for civilian handover
RAQA: US-backed forces who captured Raqa from the Daesh group prepared on Thursday to hand the Syrian city over to a civilian authority, with some of their fighters alrea..
General blamed for journalist deaths in blast
BEIRUT: A Syrian general accused over the 2012 deaths of prominent US journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik has been killed by an explosion in the e..
Humanitarian ‘drama’ in Idlib alarms TRC
ISTANBUL: The Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) on Wednesday expressed alarm over the “drama” of the humanitarian situation in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, saying ..
Anti-Daesh drive in east Syria to speed up: SDF
BEIRUT: A US-backed campaign against Daesh in eastern Syria will accelerate now the militant group has been defeated in its former capital Raqa, a spokesman for US-allied..
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright