A British volunteer with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) told ARA News that the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group is already relocating its leadership away from Raqqa city, in northeastern Syria.
Known by his Kurdish nickname Rojhat Rojava, the 23-year-old British YPG fighter is one of the dozens of foreign volunteers that have joined the Euphrates Wrath campaign to fight ISIS in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa.
He said that so far ISIS is not resisting much in Raqqa’s countryside.
“On our approach to Jezra, ISIS had fled the countryside to the north of it to the town, once we approached it our forces were met by mortars and heavy weapons with clashes inside the town once we entered it,” the British fighter told ARA News at the Raqqa battlefront.
Rojhat confirmed that ISIS is already fleeing Raqqa city.
“Absolutely, there are reports already coming out from Raqqa that they have relocated their leadership away from the city, so they know it will fall,” he said.
Rojava told ARA News that the US-led coalition will back the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to take Raqqa, and not Turkey.
The YPG is a leading member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
“The American support is really high at the moment and they are helping us to liberate areas towards Raqqa with artillery support and airstrikes,” he said.
The British YPG member added that America is trying to keep Turkey out of Manbij.
“I have not heard much of what’s been going on in the Manbij front, but I think the Americans are pulling strings to keep Turkey out of Rojava [Syria’s Kurdistan],” he said.
He also said that the tensions between the Kurds in Sinjar are so far not affecting the Raqqa operation.
“Not really, I think it will remain unaffected,” he said.
According to the US-led coalition, the SDF forces are slowly rolling back ISIS forces near Raqqa.
“Syrian Democratic Forces and their Syrian Arab Coalition continue operations to isolate Raqqa along two axes east of the city. Our partners have rolled back ISIS territorial gains to the east, north and west of the city, capturing more than 7,400 square kilometers of territory,” Air Force Col John L. Dorrian, spokesman for US-led anti-ISIS coalition said on Wednesday.
“To support our partners’ operations, the coalition has conducted airstrikes which have destroyed more than 130 enemy armored and soft-skin vehicles, 57 vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and more than 450 enemy fighting positions, enabling the momentum of the campaign to continue,” he added.