Hundreds of Syrian rebels join western-backed SDF alliance to combat ISIS

Members of the Kurdish-Arab alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) gather in Kobane suburb after liberating Tishreen Dam from ISIS militants. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

KOBANE – More than 200 rebels deserted the Raqqa Revolutionary Brigade and joined the ranks of the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Backed by the U.S.-led coalition’s air cover, the Kurdish-Arab-Chrsitian alliance of the SDF is considered the main Syrian force fighting the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in northern Syria. 

The SDF leadership confirmed on Saturday that some 200 rebel fighters from the Raqqa Revolutionary Brigade have joined its ranks over the past few days. 

“We welcome our brothers from all revolutionary brigades and battalions to join our (SDF) alliance in order to unify the efforts and liberate our land from Daesh terrorists,” the SDF leadership said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS. 

Speaking to ARA News in Tel Abyad city north of Raqqa, SDF spokesman Ayman Ghanim said that the number of the new SDF members is increasing in the northern countrysides of Raqqa and Aleppo. 

“Given the clear message of the Syrian Democratic Forces as a unified anti-terror umbrella, rebel fighters from various groups are seeking to join our ranks,” Ghanim said. 

“The SDF reflects the social mosaic of the Syrian people, as it includes Kurdish, Arab and Christian members fighting side by side against ISIS terrorists,” the spokesman said. “This unity guarantees our victory over radical and suppressive groups in Syria.” 

The SDF, which has earlier recaptured more than 220 villages and towns in Hasakah province from ISIS, announced three days ago the start of a new military campaign against the extremist group south of Kobane. Since then, the joint forces have regained several villages and farms near Kobane after bombing ISIS headquarters there. On Saturday, SDF fighters also seized the Tishreen Dam, a main supply route for ISIS militants between Raqqa and Aleppo.  

Reporting by: Hozan Mamo

Source: ARA News

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