Kurdish forces launch battle to liberate Syrian city

Damascus, Nov 6 (IANS) The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Sunday the beginning of a military campaign against the Syrian city of al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State (IS) group.

“We in the general command of the Syrian Democratic Forces are about to begin a major military campaign to liberate the city of al-Raqqa from the clutches of the forces of darkness represented by Daesh (IS),” Xinhua news agency cited an SDF statement.

The military campaign, dubbed “The Euphrates Rage”, started on Saturday evening in cooperation and coordination with the US-led anti-terror coalition, the statement added.

The SDF also urged the regional and international powers that have been affected by the IS to take part in the “honour to eliminate the core of the international terrorism”.

The SDF move toward al-Raqqa will surely raise the ire of Turkey, which has recently asked the US to put the offensive on al-Raqqa on hold till the battle against IS in Mosul, Iraq subsides.

Turkey, who wanted to lead the offensive on al-Raqqa is concerned about the growing Kurdish influence near its borders which was a main point of contention between Washington and Ankara.