Since the start of Raqqa operation, SDF forces have liberated 14 of the 23 neighbourhoods from ISIS gangs, and control 65 percent of the city, SDF commander Clara Raqqa said.
Within 90 days the 'Great Battle' campaign to capture Raqqa, 14 of the 23 neighbourhoods are liberated by SDF. There are 9 neighbourhoods under ISIS control.
As the battles intensify in the neighbourhoods of al-Barid, Mirûr and Nehda, commander of the operation, Clara Raqqa, shared details on the current situation.
THE BATTLE FOR RAQQA IS A STEP TO PEACE
“As people celebrate Eid al-Adha and observe World Peace Day; those who struggle for peace and lead the battles, contribute to a brighter future in Raqqa” We still continue the Great Battle in Raqqa. And it goes on successfully” Clara Raqqa said.
CONCERNING MARTYRED MANBIJ COMMANDER ADNAN EBÛ EMCED
Commemorating those who made the ultimate sacrifice during war Clara Raqqa said: "We have lost many of our dearest comrades during this struggle. The commander of Manbij Military Council Adnan Ebû Emced is the latest who fell a martyr in the city. Emced fell a martyr through a self-sacrificing action. Emced's struggle shall never be left on the ground."
The SDF commander sees the intensified attacks of ISIS since August as an indication of their downfall. “Despite that the SDF fighters responded fiercely and managed to frustrate all the gangs. Especially the complete liberation of 'Old Raqqa' neighbourhood was very important, as it stretches over a great part of the city. Actually, it should be considered as a region of its own, due to the sub-neighbourhoods it harbours. Al-Diriyah neighbourhood in the west of the city has been liberated by now as well. That includes the hospital for children, where hostages reportedly used to be held captive" she said.
HOW MANY NEIGHBOURHOODS ARE THERE LEFT?
Clara Raqqa, explained that 14 neighbourhoods out of a total of 23 have been liberated. This composes 65% of the city.
"ISIS has control over 9 neighbourhoods all of which are heavily embattled. Our forces continue operations from the fronts of al-Barid, al-Emin, Tirîn, Rimêlan, Nehda and Mirûr” she said.
'SDF HAS THE UPPER HAND'
Upon the question 'when Raqqa is supposed to be cleansed completely', the SDF commander answered as follows: " At times of war you never can predict dates. We can only count the days until the city is liberated. Looking from today, it won't take long anymore. Raqqa's liberation is near. Our SDF forces keep the upper hand in this city."
HOW WILL THE CITY BE ADMINISTERED THEN?
Regarding the form of administration of the city after its liberation, Clara Raqqa shared this information: "Manbij is the best example here. A council of Raqqa has been established and is already busy with the administration of the city. That council was formed by the tribes and people of Raqqa itself and started to work since then. The city will be left under the care of the peoples in the region, and be governed autonomous."