BEIRUT U.S.-backed forces combating Islamic Point out in Syria launched a new section of their offensive on Thursday, a statement explained, but they have not nonetheless begun to attack the militant group’s stronghold of Raqqa city in an clear delay in the procedure.
The multi-phased campaign by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance produced up of Syrian Kurdish and Arab combating teams, was launched in November and aims ultimately to push the jihadists from Raqqa, their de facto Syrian money.
Officers in the Kurdish YPG militia, a powerful ingredient of the SDF, explained past month that assaults on Raqqa city alone would get started in early or mid-April.
But the fourth section of the campaign aims to very clear Islamic Point out pockets from the countryside north of the city, the SDF statement explained. It did not say when the assault on Raqqa alone would commence.
“We goal to liberate dozens of villages in the Wadi Jallab area and the northern countryside … and very clear the past obstructions in front of us to pave the way for the procedure to liberate Raqqa city,” it explained.
The SDF have shut in on Raqqa from the north, east and west.
They have surrounded the Islamic Point out-held Tabqa area and its adjacent dam, some 40 km (25 miles) to the west of Raqqa, which is the focus of significant combating and where Islamic Point out has launched a number of counter-assaults.
Officers have explained that the assault on Raqqa could be launched even before Tabqa alone is seized, but the battles there have held the SDF fast paced.
“The dam concern has taken some time,” Jihan Sheikh Ahmed, the SDF spokeswoman for the Raqqa campaign, told Reuters.
Forces ended up taking care to steer clear of injury to the dam, she included, which the U.N. had warned in February could bring about catastrophic flooding due to the fact of the combating.
Ahmed explained the SDF ended up producing simultaneous innovations on the front lines around Raqqa, Tabqa and Deir al-Zor, an additional IS stronghold further more southeast.
(Reporting by John Davison, additional reporting by Rodi Said Enhancing by Toby Chopra)