SDF liberates two villages from ISIS west of Raqqa

SDF liberates two villages from ISIS west of Raqqa
A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) female fighter stands with her weapon east of Raqqa city, Syria March 26, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
3 years ago

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SULAIMANI – Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated two villages on Monday (March 27) from Islamic State (ISIS) control during the third phase of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates to isolate the ISIS-held Syrian city of Raqqa.

The villages of Sahel al-Khashab and Aweyj Widyan were liberated from ISIS militants on Monday, with SDF fighters having opened a safe passage to allow over 400 civilians to flee the clashes, Hawar News Agency reported.

The two villages are situated near Swediyah al-Kabirah to the west of Raqqa.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Sunday (March 26) that they had liberated more than 600 square kilometers from ISIS militants since the third phase of Raqqa operations began.

The SDF are currently advancing towards Raqqa on three fronts, and while progress during the third phase has been rapid, some fierce clashes have broken out as ISIS militants look to stem the SDF’s advance.

After cutting several strategic roads, the SDF are moving closer to their aim of surrounding and isolating the Syrian city entirely, in anticipation of an operation to liberate the city from the jihadist group. That operation is believed to start within the coming weeks.

The SDF, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters who have been successfully fighting ISIS in northern Syria, has been steadily moving in on the jihadist group in Raqqa for the past five months.

The operation to isolate the ISIS-stronghold of Raqqa began on November 5, 2016.