US-Backed ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ Renew Operations Against ISIS West Of Raqqah

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US-Backed 'Syrian Democratic Forces' Renew Operations Against ISIS West Of Raqqah

Click to see the full-size map. Source: @EmmanuelGMay/Twitter

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) consisting mostly of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have renewed their push against the ISIS terrorist group in the eastern countryside of Raqqah.

The Kurdish-led operation in the area had ben halt for some time because of tensions between Kurdish units and pro-Turkish forces in the province of Aleppo.

On March 5, SDF units have reseized the villages of Julayb Khalil, Abd al Matnī and Muhammad al-Ayyash from ISIS east of Raqqah.

Now, the SDF is further developing the advance aiming to reach the Euphrates River.

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  • gold37

    They can’t take Raqqah without SAA’s assistance currently, no army can effectively win in an urban warfare with minimal casualties, except SAA. Aleppo is a simple example. SDF going in there alone would be a bloodbath. I may be wrong but I am entitled to an opinion.

    • Ivanus59

      I think so too. The only good thing they can do right now is to sever the Raqqah – Deir Ezzor highway, as that would cripple ISIS’s maneuverability in Syria, then just defend that or focus on Turkoids until SAA can approach Raqqa city and do the rest of the work. :D

      • Luigi

        before the war, Ar-Raqqah was 3 times bigger then Manjib and the river makes it hard to surrond it so the kurds will indeed have big casualties if they try to storm it alone. i dont think the Kurds will have a reason to capture it unless they believe that all the east Ar-Raqqah Governorate will belong to them.

        • dutchnational

          The river makes it easier to surround the city as the city lies completely to the north of the river and the bridges have been destroyed. While they might be traversable for people on foot, no supplies will be passing those bridges and people can be strafed by both planes and helicopters.

          Having said that, taking the city can either be done by starving it, like SAA did for years around Aleppo or they can storm it like SDF did Manbij, for which they indeed need heavy weapons. The US is starting to deliver those weapons and will also insert arrtillery, both directly to SDF and most likely also one or two firebases.

        • Ronald

          My guess is that that is the deal that has been made . So said , the SAA should leave Raqqa to the Kurds and their American backers and re – secure Deir Azzor . With that done , they can come back to help in tthe final clean up

    • Dejan

      Agree with u, only way that SDF could capture Raqqa is with big military assistance from USA which includes powerful military equipment including tanks such as m1abrams and big airforce involvment

    • Charan John

      Lets be realistic. You don’t just take a city with minimal casualties. You need people who are willing to fight toe to toe against ridiculously over zealous wahabis with no green busses to transport them elsewhere, which would be ideal..(for psychological reasons)

      In Aleppo, Liwa al Quds played a big role(taking back their neighbourhoods for comparison.) In Ar Raqqah SAA will need to use core loyalist soldiers from Latakia and Hezbollah (which will cause sectarian problems/Sympathies and hurt SAA/Hezb moral) There isn’t any viable “en mass” Sunni options afaik who isn’t prone to either to break and flee like in Palmyra / dessert back to their villages(if they live close by.) Or fight half heartedly. Like FSA in Al bab. The only Sunni troops that could be relied upon there would be local partisans and Kurds.
      The Kurds wants to keep all their gains and will probably not commit to go into urban fighting in Ar Raqqah unless they can get something big in return. They might lay siege to the city though if they are re assured that the Turks will not hit their flank.

  • Brad Isherwood
  • Solomon Krupacek

    the russians shoul wait until americans destroy isis in villages around raqqa and after that quickly take the city with paratroopers.

  • dutchnational

    Small detail. The fighting is east of Raqqah.