On January 26, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that ISIS’s Wali [governor] of Raqqa was among 68 terrorists arrested in the first few hours of its counter-terrorism operation in the northern Syrian governorate.
The Kurdish-led group launched the operation with support from the United States-led coalition a day earlier in response to an attack by ISIS that targeted one of its security centers in Raqqa city last December. Six of the group’s personnel were killed in the attack.
In a video confession released by the SDF, ISIS’s Wali, who identified himself as Atallah al-Methan, acknowledged that he planned the terrorist attack on Raqqa security center, collected taxes for ISIS and coordinated between its cells in the governorate.
The SDF said that its units expanded the counter-terrorism operation in Raqqa to include the towns of al-Jarniyah and al-Mansurah, in addition to the towns of al-Karamah and Sarrin, where several raids were conducted in the first day of the operation.
To coordinate the ongoing operation, the SDF established a new operations room, dubbed “the Revenge Campaign for the Martyrs of Raqqa”.
Raqqa remains an essential part of ISIS sphere of influence in Syria, as its links the terrorist group’s cells in the eastern governorates of al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor with Aleppo and Idlib governorates in the northern region.
The SDF’s ongoing operation in Raqqa will not end ISIS presence there. The main goal of the U.S.-backed operation is likely to promote the group’s role in the war against the terrorist group.
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