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US-backed SDF militias seize 2nd Raqqah district from Daesh

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, unloaded boxes of ammunition, supplied by the US-led coalition, in a village north of Raqqah on June 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has retaken a second district of Syria's troubled and militant-held northern city of Raqqah from Takfiri Daesh terrorists, and launched a renewed assault on a base north of the city as they press ahead with an offensive against the extremists.

The US-backed SDF, made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, announced in a statement on Sunday that their fighters “liberated the neighborhood of al-Romaniya on the western front of Raqqah, after two days of continued clashes.”

This is the first time that SDF forces have regained control over a western district of Raqqah. The militiamen had earlier seized control of the eastern neighborhood of al-Meshleb

Also on Sunday, SDF forces battled to capture the Division 17 military base and an adjacent sugar factory, which Daesh militants have used to repulse approaches into Raqqah.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the fighters sought to dislodge the extremists from the base, with backing from the US-led coalition purportedly fighting Takfiri Daesh terrorists in Syria.

“Blasts could be heard throughout the night because of the exchange of fire between the two sides,” the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said Daesh had “heavily fortified” the base, expecting a major SDF offensive.

It is estimated a population of 300,000 civilians are trapped inside Raqqah, including 80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria. Thousands have fled in recent months, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) believes about 160,000 people remain in the city.

On June 6, SDF said it had launched an operation aimed at pushing Daesh out of Raqqah.

The city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the Takfiris’ administrative and control tasks the next year. 

Syrian jets destroy Daesh positions, kill many terrorists in Dayr al-Zawr

Meanwhile, Syrian Air Force fighter jets have carried out a series of strikes against Daesh positions close to Panorama district, al-Iman oil station, al-Tharda roundabout, Alloush Hill, al-Erfi neighborhood and al-Joneina village in the country's eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

This file photo shows a Syrian Air Force MiG-23 fighter jet. (Photo by AFP)

A reporter for Syria’s official news agency SANA said scores of Takfiri militants were killed and injured in the aerial assaults, and their vehicles destroyed.

The reporter added that army units also clashed with Daesh terrorists in vicinity of Panorama district, inflicting heavy loss on the militants in terms of military equipment and personnel.

Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant groups since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.

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