January 16, 2017
The International Coalition-Backed Syrian Democratic Forces ( SDF) released the statistics of the liberation operation of ISIS capital of Raqqa. The operation liberation called ” Wrath of Euphrates” and it launched its second phase on December 10, 2016.
In a press conference held in a village east of Tishrin dam “Wrath of Euphrates” spokesperson Jihan Sheikh Ahmad read the SDF statement. The SDF announced that 2480 square kilometers of Raqqa province have been cleared from ISIS terrorists. In the readout at the press conference, Ahmad said that 2500 locals have joined the SDF to liberate the province and 42 members have fallen in the liberation operation so far including 3 foreign volunteers. The statement acknowledged that 3 members of Syriac Military Council(Christians) are among the 42 who lost their lives.
The SDF also announced estimated of 260 ISIS terrorist have been killed and 40 car bombs have been naturalized. The SDF thanked the U.S. led coalition “We also thank the International Coalition and the expert teams who did not leave our forces alone in the battlefields.” said the statement.
Leaders of tribes, Kurdish officials, and SDF commanders attended the press conference.
Full text of the statement:
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 2 Operation Wrath of Euphrates, the following were achieved:
A territory of 2480 square kilometers including 197 villages, tens of farmlands, strategic hills and, Ja’bar Castle were liberated. Accordingly, the total of land liberated since the beginning of Raqqa Campaign is now 3200km2. Within this territory are 236 villages, tens of farmlands, and hilltops. The city of Raqqa isolated from the west and northern axis.
More than 260 Daesh terrorists have been killed; bodies of 115 seized on the fields of battle, and 18 terrorists 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 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 western volunteers have joined Syrian Democratic Forces. Local members have been trained and armed with the help of the International Coalition.
Forty-two of our combatants, including three international volunteers from Britain, Canada, and The United States 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 art very frontlines. Here we repeat our promise to endure and strength 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 forces 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 front lines.
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