The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by US airstrikes, launched today a wide-scale military operation to capture large swaths from ISIS to the north of its de facto capital of Al-Raqqa.
“We’re launching this campaign with the help of [U.S.-led] coalition forces in northern Raqqa,” said Rojda Felat, a female Kurdish commander. “We intend to bring an end to attacks perpetrated by Daesh (IS) against our people.”
The attacking forces have massed thousands of fighters at Ain Issa, located nearly 50 km to the north of Al-Raqqa, and marched on three directions with the aim to capture a 4 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide area.
Earlier this week, General Joseph Votel, head of US Central Command, made a secret trip to Syria where he met American advisors and SDF commanders.
During the 11-hour long visit, Votel discussed an expansive and full-scale offensive against the group’s stronghold in northern Syria.
Reports claimed that up to 250 US Special Forces soldiers have recenty landed in northern Syria to take part in the upcoming battle.
American military experts have been actively training Kurdish fighters and other non-extremist Syrian groups to fight the ISIS terror organization.