Raqqa Offensive: Syrian Democratic Forces Coming Closer to Daesh 'Capital'
17:58 21.11.2016(updated 20:01 21.11.2016)
An area of some 570 square kilometers has been liberated from jihadists by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the Euphrates Rage military operation, sources in the SDF told Sputnik Turkiye.
Operation Euphrates Rage is aimed at liberating the Syrian city of Raqqa and was launched on November 5.
SDF bomb specialists have defused 1,250 mines and other explosives planted in the area.
It was also reported that SDF fighters are currently 24 kilometers from Raqqa. Terrorists are proving heavy resistance to the SDF.
During the clashes for the village of El Sukeri, United States-coalition aircraft bombed Daesh positions and explosives-rigged vehicles.
One of the SDF commanders Serdar Heci told Sputnik Turkiye that earlier SDF fighters had taken control over the strategically important town of Tilsemer, 17 km from Raqqa.
"By taking control over Tilsemer, our forces delivered another heavy blow to Daesh," Heci said.
"Bomb units of the SDF are currently working in the area to find and defuse numerous mines and traps planted by Daesh," he added.
Last week, the SDF council reported that the SDF was going to kick-off the second stage of their offensive on Raqqa.
"The first stage has been recently completed as the troops managed to achieve its goal – to establish the Syrian Democratic Forces' control over the area between the Suluk and Eyn Issa villages. In the near future the second stage will start. Raqqa will be liberated, which will be a fatal blow to jihadists," senior member of the SDF council Rezzan Hido told Sputnik.
He added that the second stage would include encircling Raqqa, while the assault would take place at the third stage.
Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the Daesh caliphate spanning across Syria and Iraq, has been under Daesh control since 2013.
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