Manish Rai reports,
United States-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are gradually pushing ahead in an offensive towards Raqqa, Islamic State’s de facto capital in northern Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have wrapped up the first phase of their operation against IS named Euphrates Wrath, according to SDF military sources. The first phase of the Euphrates Wrath aimed to isolate Raqqa from its northern countryside. This was accomplished by securing the towns of Tel al-Samn and Hazima, which link Ain Issa city with Suluk District. The operation’s long term objective is to isolate and eliminate Islamic State in Raqqa.
The current battlefield strategy is to first bomb IS fighting positions inside Al-Raqqa city destroying weapons storehouses and lines of communication while eliminating top IS battlefield commanders. Stage two, which is currently underway, would be to enforce a full blockade of the city and prevent any arms or fighters from reaching Raqqa. Step three would be to march on Al-Raqqa. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are Kurdish led and comprises of about 30,000 local fighters, 20,000 of whom are Kurdish and the rest Sunni Arabs.
…The battle for Raqqa which overlap with the major ongoing battle for Mosul in Iraq clearly indicates that the days of Daesh as we knew it are coming to an end. Slowly but surely, ISIS’s empire of terrorism, rape and murder is about to be liberated.
…Liberating Raqqa from ISIS is important because it will destroy the “caliphate” as a whole, not only its capital. It counters the concept of the capital that implies the existence of an Islamic state.
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