Statement by Wrath of Euphrates Operations Room
Syrian Democratic Forces - January 16, 2017
Responding to the call of Raqqa province population, the second phase of Raqqa liberation campaign started on December 10, 2016, the campaign is continuing to the moment. With a joint agreement by the Military Council for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the campaign was initiated with the purpose of eliminating the terror of Daesh (ISIS) in the region.
As result of Phase II Operation Wrath of Euphrates the following were achieved:
A territory of 2480 square kilometers – including 197 villages, tens of farmlands and strategical hills and the historical Ja’bar Castle – was liberated. Accordingly, the total of land liberated since the beginning of Raqqa Campaign is now 3200 km2. Within this territory are 236 villages, tens of farmlands and hilltops, and the city of Raqqa is now isolated from west and northern axis.
More than 260 Daesh terrorists have been killed, bodies of 115 seized on the fields of battle – 18 terrorist elements were captured alive. A significant number of weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and artillery pieces were seized. 40 car bombs were neutralized, many of which were targeted and destroyed before reaching their goals.
Thousands of civilians from western Raqqa countryside were liberated, many of whom returned back to their homes after their villages were secured of Daesh threats – the SDF is continuing to distribute aid among this population.
Since the beginning of Raqqa campaign more than 2500 local volunteers have joined Syrian Democratic Forces. Local members have been trained and armed with the help of International Coalition.
Forty-two of our combatants, including three international volunteers from Britain, Canada and America, were martyred in action during Wrath of Euphrates. Also three members of the Syriac Military Council were martyred fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with their Arab and Kurdish brothers.
As the Command for Wrath of Euphrates Operations Room, we would like to thank our great people in liberated Raqqa countryside who welcomed and supported our forces at the very frontlines. Here we repeat our promise to endure and strengthen protection of our people, no matter what the cost would be, we will never retreat from defending our people.
We call on our people in Raqqa to seize the moment and organize themselves in their own region, build up their councils and establish their local administrations to join the Syrian Democratic Forces with all force so all Raqqa province could be liberated.
At the same time, we thank the International Coalition and their military professionals who are supporting our forces at the frontline.
We also are grateful to Self-Administration Committee in Kobane with their security, medical and public service institutions who are helping the people from liberated Raqqa countryside.
Our forces have gained significant achievements since the start of Raqqa Liberation Campaign. We will continue the fight against Daesh terrorists, to prosper in liberating Raqqa, and rid all Syrian soil of terror.
Syrian Democratic Forces
January 16, 2017