An area of 2,144 km2 including 133 villages liberated in western Raqqa
An area of 2,144 km2 including more than 100 villages, hamlets and strategic hilltops have been liberated from ISIS gang groups during the second stage of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates.
An area of 2,144 km2 including more than 100 villages, hamlets and strategic hilltops have been liberated from ISIS gang groups during Operation Wrath of Euphrates. Young people and tribesmen from Raqqa joined the military campaign, during which 526 ISIS gang members have been killed and 12 ISIS gangs have been captured alive.
The second stage of Operation Wrath of Euphrates that the SDF forces launched in order to liberate western Raqqa from ISIS entered its 33rd day.
FIRST STAGE AND PARTICIPANTS
Wrath of Euphrates Operation Action Room fighters launched the first stage of Operation Liberate Raqqa on November 5, 2016. The fighters announced the end of their operation’s first stage after 10 days, and liberated an area of 700 km2 including 40 villages and tens of hamlets from ISIS gangs. The operation was paused until December 10, 2016, due to weather conditions, and the following forces participated in the operation: Shuheda al Raqqa, Ahrar al Raqqa, Thuwar Til Ebyad, Jaysh al Senadid, Liwa al Tahrir, Ketibet Esh-Shuheda al Firat, Ketibe Martyr al Cimo and YPG/YPJ forces.
Nexbe, Teyyar al Xed, Dera Zor Military Council and Thuwar al Raqqa joined the operation when the operation’s second stage began on December 10, 2016. One thousand 500 young people from the recently liberated parts of Raqqa received military training and took an active role in the operation.
YOUNG PEOPLE AND TRIBESMEN FROM RAQQA ALSO PRESENT
Most recently, 1600 young people from Raqqa have participated in and tribesmen offered their support to
the second stage of the operation. Participation of the members of Maxmurî tribe, an important tribe that was forced to move to Cizîr region as part of the Ba’athist regime’s ‘Arab Belt’ policies in 1973, reflected the anger of the region’s residents towards ISIS gang groups.
The majority of the members of Maxmûrî tribe are taking an active role in the operation to liberate Raqqa under the umbrella of the SDF. Jaysh al Senadid forces, loyal to the Arab Shemer tribe in Cizîr region, increase their numbers and participate in the second stage of the operation, which was launched in Qadiriye village on December 10, 2016. During the second stage of the operation, which entered its 33rd day, ISIS gangs have received heavy blows. One branch of the operation began to advance from the villages of Qadiriye and Kerdushan, and another branch began to advance from Til Semen to the south of Ayn Isa on December 31.
45 VILLAGES AND 20 HAMLETS ENCIRCLED
The forces advancing from Qadiriye and Kerdushan soon reunited and reached the eastern banks of the Euphrates River. These branches liberated an area of 57 km2 including Jabar Castle and many strategic hilltops from ISIS gangs. The branch advancing from Til Semen to the south of Ayn Isa liberated an area of 34 km2 in a short period of time. The branches from Qadiriye and Ayn Isa recently liberated the villages of Kermanco and Hiwej, respectively, and encircled 45 villages and 20 hamlets currently occupied by ISIS.
TENS OF GANG MEMBERS KILLED
In the meanwhile, ISIS gangs were doing everything they could in order to prevent the advance of Wrath of Euphrates Operation fighters. They carried out several car bomb attacks and assaults in order to re-control the areas that they had lost, but lost tens of gang members when their attempts failed.
AN AREA OF 2,144 KM2 LIBERATED
So far, an area of 2,144 km2 has been liberated from ISIS during the second stage of the operation. 133 villages, tens of hamlets, and many strategic hilltops in this area have been cleared of ISIS, and fighters have besieged Raqqa from the west and the north semicircularly.
526 ISIS MEMBERS KILLED
SDF commanders report that 526 ISIS members have been killed during the clashes and International Coalition air strikes during the second stage of Operation Wrath of Euphrates. Operation Room fighters seized 99 bodies and many guns and ammunition, and captured 12 gangs alive during the operation’s second stage. Currently, the fighters have besieged and are advancing towards the recently encircled 45 villages and 20 hamlets under ISIS occupation.