US-led Coalition, SDF officials deny suspension of anti-ISIS operations in Raqqa

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Soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in western Raqqa. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

US officials on Tuesday denied allegations that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have halted operations in Raqqa after suffering from severe losses.

“Operations to Defeat Daesh [ISIS] in Raqqa continue. SDF claimed more than 35km2 from ISIS this week. SDF have not suspended operations; not true,” Army Colonel Ryan Dillon Spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) said in a statement.

Another US official denied in an interview with ARA News reports about the SDF suspending operations in Raqqa.

According to SDF sources, they have liberated eight neighbourhoods in the city of Raqqa, most recently the neighbourhood of Yarmouk, since the launch of the battle for Raqqa city on June 6.

“The fighters liberated eight neighborhoods in the city, broke the second defense line of the mercenaries [ISIS militants] in the Yarmouk district and tightened the noose more on the mercenaries,” the SDF said.

“The clashes continue in the Hisham bin Abdul Malik neighborhood south of the city and in the vicinity of the old mosque in the middle of the Old City of Raqqa, which resulted in the killing of a number of mercenaries,” the SDF added.

Klara Raqqa, the top-ranking Kurdish female commander of the U.S.-backed SDF forces, told the Kurdish journalist Mutlu Civiroglu‏ that the rumours about suspending the operations are baseless. “Such rumors are spread to smear our operations. Fighting continues, we are advancing,” she said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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