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    Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

    U.S.-led forces take 4 villages from ISIS north of Raqqa

    | 2017-04-19 21:37:27
    U.S.-led forces take 4 villages from ISIS north of Raqqa

    (Zaman Al Wasl)- U.S.-led Kurdish militia said in statement posted online it took four villages form the Islamic State in the northern countryside of Raqqa province.

    Backed the U.S. jets, the Syrian Democratic forces captured villages of Jarwa, Hattash, Bir al-Jarbou’ and Um al-Tanak, pressing new advance to encircle Raqqa city , the de facto capital of ISIS.

    Meanwhile, the influx of displaced people has continued toward the northern countryside to escape the fierce fighting and US strikes that killed 30 civilians  on Tuesday in eastern Deir Ezzor province

    The SDF, an alliance made up of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighting groups, launched the fourth phase of their offensive last Thursday.

    The multi-phased campaign by SDF was launched in November and aims ultimately to drive the jihadists from Raqqa, their de facto Syrian capital.

    SDF announced Tuesday the formation of a civilian council to govern Raqqa after their planned capture of the city from ISIS militants.

    Reuters reported last month that the political wing of the SDF was helping to install a civilian council to run the eastern Syrian city, ISIS's base of operations in Syria.

    A preparatory committee met "with the people and important tribal figures of Raqqa city to find out their opinions on how to govern it," the SDF said in a statement.

    Spokesman Talal Selo said the SDF would "provide all the support" and had already turned over some towns around Raqqa city to the council after driving out ISIS militants.

    The extent of Kurdish control in Raqqa's future is sensitive both for residents and for Ankara, which has fought a three-decade Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey and fears growing YPG ascendancy just over the border in northern Syria, Reuters reported.

    The United States says a final decision has yet to be made on how and when Raqqa will be captured. But the SDF is pressing its assault near the city to isolate and ultimately take Raqqa while plans for civilian rule take shape.

    Keywords:  Syria SDF ISIS
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