DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:00 A.M.) – After capturing three rural villages and an eastern neighborhood of Raqqa on Tuesday, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) proceeded to secure other vital gains on the outskirts of Raqqa city.
On the northern axis, SDF contingents overran Mazraat Hattin village and the adjacent Army Storage Base. This advance brings them within three kilometers of Raqqa city’s northern suburbs. The last major obstacle on this flank is represented by the highly fortified Division 17 army base.
On the western axis, the SDF – comprised of fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Manbij Military Council (MMC) – took full control over the villages of Tall Harqalah and Al-Nora, thus establishing a springboard to assault the western gates of Raqqa city. With only one ISIS-held village in the way, Kurdish forward units are roughly 2,500 meters from entering the western suburbs.
With the Islamic State collapsing on all three flanks, SDF commanders have left nevertheless open a southern route of escape if jihadist militants should choose to battle the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) instead of defending the ISIS capital.
In other news, 273 Kurdish conscripts joined the MMC on Tuesday.
A map of the situation in Raqqa can be found here.