The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by the US-led coalition, captured of the villages of Al-Sahlabiya al-Gharbia and Al-Sahlabiya al-Sharqiya in the western Raqqa countryside, deploying in 10 kilometers from the western entrance to Raqqa.
The SDF also discovered an ISIS tunnel in the area and destroyed it.
A ISIS tunnel has been discovered by SDF fighters in west Raqqa pic.twitter.com/GwSSQZmg7E
— ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ (@ThomasOz_) May 21, 2017
In the eastern Raqqa countryside, the SDF captured of the village of Hamrat Nasir, located on the Raqqa-Deir Ezzor road.
ISIS militants launched a counter-attack on the new positions of SDF in the Al-Sahlabiya al-Gharbia village, reportedly killing 7 Kurdish fighters during the clashes. However, the SDF managed to defend all its positions.
Yesterday, ISIS shelled positions allegedly belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the village of Buita in the eastern Raqqa countryside with mortars.
According to opposition sources, the Turkish-backed Raqqa Rebels Regiment started deploying in some points in the northern Raqqa countryside alongside the SDF in order to participate in the battle for Raqqa. According to the reports, the participation of the Raqqa Rebels Regiment followed the recent Turkish-American negotiations.
However, these reports still have to be confirmed. The presence of the Raqqa Rebels Regiment in Raqqa city after capturing it may increase tension between Kurds and Arabs.