ISIS jihadis’ families escape Raqqa

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Islamic State's (ISIS) militants seen on boats east of Mosul. File photo

ARA News

As the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue their push into the Islamic State’s (ISIS) de facto capital of Raqqa, families of ISIS jihadis started to escape the city.

Local sources confirmed that dozens ISIS jihadis were able to flee the city with their families since Monday.

“More than 50 ISIS jihadists fled Raqqa city along with their families during the past two days,” a local media activist told ARA News on Wednesday.

The source said that the escapees used boats to cross the Euphrates River.

“They were seen heading to the southern bank of the Euphrates by boats,” an eyewitness said, speaking to ARA News on condition of anonymity.

Hundreds of ISIS jihadists have escaped Raqqa since the US-backed SDF troops launched a major operation to isolate and eventually liberate Raqqa city from the radical group last November.

This comes as part of the third phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, aimed at liberating Eastern Raqqa from ISIS jihadists, launched by the SDF on 4 February.

During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, which began on November 6, 2016, the SDF liberated roughly 560 km² in Northern Raqqa.

On 10 December, the SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath, during which it captured over 2500 km² in Western Raqqa.

The campaign is ultimately aimed at isolating the ISIS radical group in its de facto capital.

Reporting by: Hozan Mamo | Source: ARA News 

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