SDF liberates two more villages as they get closer to Raqqa
YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated two more villages north of Raqqa.
Clashes erupted between SDF fighters and ISIS gangs in the village of Hamrat 5 km northeast of Raqqa yesterday afternoon. Following clashes throughout the day, the village was cleared of ISIS.
15 ISIS members were killed during clashes and a group of ISIS gangs were detonated together with their vehicle as they tried to place a mortar in a high place. Bodies of 5 were seized by SDF.
After liberating the Hamrat village, SDF fighters moved on to the Madar village which was also cleansed of ISIS after fierce clashes that continued into the midnight.
The fourth phase of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates that was launched on April 11 was suspended for a short time on April 23, and relaunched on May 9. During the past one week, SDF forces have made major advances in the campaign and they are very close to the ISIS stronghold Raqqa at the moment.
SDF fighters have recently gained control over the cotton factory northeast of Raqqa, and they are now 3 km away from the city from this front.
SDF forces are also changing and increasing their defense measures as they get closer to Raqqa and encounter large numbers of mines left behind by the ISIS in the areas they are liberating one by one on the way to Raqqa. The fighters have defused 300 mines during the search and sweep efforts they carried out in the villages they have cleared over the past 10 days. There are still hundreds of mines left by the gangs in several villages and hamlets.
On the other hand, ISIS gangs are also reinforcing their lines of defense, forming huge emplacements around the villages under their control, digging tunnels and channels to facilitate their activities against SDF forces.