"YPJ will be the leading force in the liberation of Raqqa"

YPJ Commander Zozan Kobanê stated that they will play a leading role in the liberation of Raqqa and dedicate the Raqqa victory to all women and peoples, and their comrades that fell as martyrs.

Zozan Kobanê, a commander for YPJ and member of the military coordination desk in the Operation Wrath of Euphrates and member of the military coordination desk spoke to ANF.


Kobanê recalled that the Operation Wrath of Euphrates continues in its fourth phase for two months and said: "Since April the hamlets, villages and towns surrounding Raqqa have been cleared of ISIS from the West, East and North. The operation to liberate Tabqa was also completed successfully, as aprt of which the Tabqa town, Tabqa dam as well as the Azadî dam have been liberated amid fierce clashes. The YPG, YPJ and Syrian Democratic Forces advanced more and more with sacrificing spirit and tactic."


Kobanê stated that they witnessed the defeat of ISIS during the course of the campaign and the gangs heavily resorted to mines as a defense system, and continued: “The biggest challenge we faced during the campaign were the mines ISIS heavily planted, as they based their defense mainly on these explosives. Our comrades therefore acted very carefully and conducted minesweeping efforts in each of the liberated areas. Many times the gangs attempted to attack with vehicles loaded with explosives, which our forces detected and successfully detonated in several locations".

Remarking that ISIS used civilians as human shields during the Operation Wrath of Euphrates just like they had done in other areas before, YPJ commander told that: “ISIS' use of civilians as human shields was another major difficulty we faced during the campaign. For the safety of civilians our forces progressed very carefully. Our comrades put a great effort in the evacuation of civilians, but due to the lack of enough food and water and the heat particularly the women and children went through some hardship and they are still suffering from it."


YPJ Commander emphasized that the most interesting aspect of the operation in all its phases was the high number of women's participation in YPJ, explaining: "The YPJ played a leading role in this operation, in the military coordination as well as on the battlefield. The leading role and participation of the Arab women in YPJ was particularly very remarkable. 

Female combatants had an important role in meeting and rescuing the people in the operation territory. Their role in the rescue and greeting of the women, who suffered the most from the war, created a great sympathy and a very positive influence among the Raqqan peoples. Our forces indeed played a sacrificing role in this campaign.”


Kobanê noted the operation for the liberation of the Raqqa city has been officially launched and said: "Raqqa has been surrounded from the east, west and north and many forces are taking part in the liberation of Raqqa but the YPG and YPJ in Syrian Democratic have been leading the operation and it will continue this way. Our forces have entered the first district east of Raqqa.”


As for their goal Kobanê stated that: "Our aim is to rescue the peoples of Raqqa from ISIS' oppression and free thousands of Êzidî and Arab women who fell into the hands of ISIS and made slaves. We want to liberate Raqqa and dedicate it to all peoples and women. We as the YPJ are part of the operation in coordinating the battle as well as fighting on the ground. For the safety of the civilians we will act very cautiously."


YPJ Commander remarked that SDF forces will succeed in this campaign under the lead of women, and ensure the defeat of ISIS by liberating Raqqa, adding:

“This much participation by women shows that nobody can invade our lands. We have the resolve and strength to continue our struggle in all the areas of ISIS fascism for democratic nationalisation, a democratic Syria and fraternity of peoples. The Êzidî women being in the first place, we will free all the Kurdish, Arab, Syriac, Turkmen, Assyrian and Circassian women and peoples from this fascism. By liberating Raqqa, we will also revenge our comrades who fell martyrs in Qerecox (Karachok) in the airstrikes of the Turkish state, and we will dedicate this victory to our martyred comrades. We believe that the women of Raqqa will form their own military forces with this fierce determination they will be witnessing here, and they will not allow a tyranny like this to ever happen again."