US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces expel ISIS from village near Raqqa

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces are seen near the town of al-Hawl after being retaken from ISIS. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

QAMISHLO – Supported by aircrafts of the US-led coalition, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on 21 May captured the village of al-Hishah in special operations, killing 8 militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the northern countryside of Raqqa–de facto capital of ISIS in Syria.

The village lies 12 kilometers east of Ayn al-Issa, north of Raqqa, and around 40 kilometers from the city of Raqqa.

SDF official spokesman Talal Silo told local reporters on Saturday that the main goal of the SDF forces is to liberate Syria from the so-called Islamic State, and that they are ready to liberate Raqqa, Deir aez-Zor, Manbij and the northern Aleppo suburbs following the Shaddadi model.

“He [Silo] asserts they will use the ash-Shaddadi battle as a model for seizing other areas from ISIS. He specifically states it will be a model for campaigns against Deir ez-Zor, Manbij and northern Aleppo suburbs,” Nicholas Heras, a Washington-based Middle East researcher at the Centre for a New American Security told ARA News.

“The Syrian Democratic Forces will focus on important areas that are around, but not inside, the major cities of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor,” Heras said. 

“He is sidestepping a commitment to wage a campaign to seize Raqqa because the Syrian Democratic Forces, and adjutant Arab militias that US Special Forces are training, are not yet ready to hold Raqqa and provide security for alternative governance structures to ISIS after it is defeated and displaced from the city, instead emphasizing the willingness of the Syrian Democratic Forces,” he said.

Moreover, the US analyst said that the SDF will utilize American airpower and Coalition Special Forces advising and “assisting to seize Arab majority areas around those cities village-by-village,” he told ARA News.

The goal of the SDF is to build post-ISIS administration structures like local councils and powerful local leaders in areas that the SDF will seize from ISIS.

“The Syrian Democratic Forces, under American guidance, is preparing for the administration of areas after ISIS. A prominent example of this model was the announcement of the Manbij local council, supported by the SDF,” Heras added.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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