The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the start of the fourth phase of its operation to capture Raqqah city.
The fourth phase main goal is to capture the northern countryside of Raqqah, Wadi Jalab and to encircle the ISIS-held city. The SDF confirmed that the operation will be supported by the US-coalition and called civilians in the villages north of Raqqah to cooperate with them.
The US-led coalition and SDF also reported a friendly fire accident that took place on April 11 when the US Air Force’s fighter jet hit a group of SDF fighters south to Tabqah killing 18 of them. The two sides allegedly launched a “joint investigation” to avoid similar incidents in the future.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq reported that four SDF members (Amaq call them PKK) were killed after entering a minefield during an attempt to advance southeast of the Tabqa airbase. The agency also claimed that 24 SDF fighters were killed as a result of a SVBIED (Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device) attack in Ahmed Khalaf village west of Tabqah.
Pro-opposition sources speculate that the SDF would encircle Raqqah before capturing the city of Tabqah . This is maybe confirmed today as SDF avoided mentioning Tabqah in its announcement about the fourth phase of its operation in the area.