Syrian Democratic Forces, Northern Raqqa Offensive (Nov 2016-2017), 12 Dec 2016, Voice of America

SDF Strangle-Hold on #ISIS in #Raqqa

Syrian Democratic Forces Winning Fight Against ISIS

Raqqa isolation deepens, US Department of Defense spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters.

In Syria, the city of Raqqa is increasingly isolated, the captain said. “It’s hard for ISIS fighters, equipment [and] leadership to be able to move freely in and out of Raqqa further down to the other parts of their ‘caliphate,’” he said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces have cleared a large area north of the Euphrates River, and they are pressing up against Raqqa to the north of the city, Davis said.

US Military Destroy Euphrates Bridges

“We have struck the Euphrates bridges across from Raqqa, and the SDF cut off the remaining road north of the Euphrates,” he said, adding that one route remains for ISIS to be able to have free communication down river to areas such as Dayr Az Zawr.

Davis said the SDF fighters have retaken more than 7,000 square kilometers — more than 4,300 square miles — since the operation to isolate Raqqa began. Syrian-Arab Coalition forces also made territorial gains yesterday, he added, with another 112 square kilometers — about 69 square miles — along the two axes east of Raqqa as they continue isolation operations in the southeast.

Situation in Northern Syria

In northern Syria, Turkish-supported Syrian opposition forces continue defensive operations to de-mine and disarm homemade bombs.

“Even as ISIS has moved further south, the clearance continues in Al-Bab with the Turkish-supported opposition forces,” Davis said. “We now have regime forces that have moved all the way across to the Euphrates River at Lake Assad in control of a continuous strip that starts in Aleppo.”

Photo: Syrian Democratic Forces, Northern Raqqa Offensive (Nov 2016-2017), 12 Dec 2016, Voice of America.

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