Posted on June 26, 2017
RAQQA,— A U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish-led forces advanced against Islamic State in the jihadists’ Syrian capital of Raqqa on Sunday, taking the al-Qadisia district, they said.
The Kurdish-Arab alliance of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began its assault on Raqqa earlier this month after a long campaign to isolate Islamic State inside the city.
It took Qadisia, located in the west of Raqqa, after three days of intense fighting, it said in a statement on one of its official social media feeds.
U.S regards the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party PYD and its powerful military wing YPG, which is part of SDF alliance, as key ally against Islamic State and the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and has provided them with arms, air support as well as the military advisers.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units YPG, which has 60,000 fighters, has seized swathes of Syria from IS.
The U.S.-backed coalition has supported SDF advances against the jihadist group throughout the Raqqa campaign with artillery and air strikes, including some against Islamic State leaders.
This month, the coalition said its air strikes had killed Turki Binali, a Bahraini cleric who was the group’s top religious authority and the most senior known Gulf Arab in Islamic State.
It also said last week it killed Fawaz al-Rawi, who it said was an important Islamic State financier, in an air strike in Syria.
However, coalition air raids have also caused large numbers of civilian casualties, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.
It said on Saturday that coalition airstrikes in and around Raqqa had killed nearly 700 civilians so far this year. The coalition says it works hard to avoid killing civilians and investigates all reports that it has done so.