ISIS militants fight back in Raqqa, hit SDF-held areas

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A Kurdish fighter (R), and a jihadist militant (L). File photo: Jinda Ibrahim/ARA News

ARA News

Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) stepped up their resistance against the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the city of Raqqa, targeting areas recently lost to the SDF.

The radical group attacked headquarters of the Kurdish-led SDF troops in the Shehada district in Raqqa city.

“ISIS terrorists attacked SDF security checkpoints in the area with at least seven car bombs,” a SDF spokesman told ARA News on Saturday.

The pro-ISIS Raqqa Media Centre claimed that 53 Kurdish fighters were killed in the offensive. However, the SDF hasn’t confirmed its casualties yet.

In the meantime, clashes broke out between the Kurdish-led forces and ISIS jihadists in the northeastern part of Raqqa city, after a group of ISIS militants tried to infiltrate into the SDF-held area.

SDF sources confirmed to ARA News that at least 41 ISIS militants were killed in the clashes.

This comes just one day after the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the liberation of more than 50 per cent of Raqqa city since the start of a major military operation to eliminate ISIS there.

Jihan Sheikh Ahmad, spokeswoman for the SDF-led Euphrates Wrath Operation in Raqqa, said in a statement that their forces have seized control of 50% of Raqqa city so far.

Raqqa has been known as a de facto capital for the ISIS self-proclaimed Caliphate since the summer of 2014.

On June 6, 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the official start of the battle for Raqqa city, an operation supported by the US-led coalition.

Reporting by: Dilber Issa | Source: ARA News

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