Two days ago, SDF forces declared that the once “Capital of the Caliphate” – Raqqa, Syria -was now under their control. The US spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve stated today that 98% of the city was now cleared of ISIS. The task of removing the myriad of land mines and explosives left behind is not complete, and pockets of ISIS fighters remain in specific areas. But the city has been loosed from the grip of the terror organization that once conducted public executions and torture to keep the population in line.
“Over the past 96 hours, we have seen about 1,300 civilians assisted to safety by the [Syrian Democratic Forces], and just about 3,000 civilians rescued in the last week.” Col Ryan Dillon, OIR spokesman.
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) October 19, 2017
About 350 ISIS fighters also surrendered to the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) in recent days, according to Col Dillon. Something for everyone to remember: When James Mattis said they were going to “annihilate” ISIS, not “contain it,” he was not kidding around. It took the SDF 4 months to free Raqqa – Obama had 3 years and did nothing.
Freeing Raqqa came with a heavy pricetag. The entire city is virtually destroyed, and infrastructure will have to be rebuilt… which will likely take years to accomplish. Kurdish fighters lost their lives, as well as civilians who were often used as human shields. But when freedom came, civilian women took off their black burqas, throwing them on the ground, and danced. The Kurdish Women’s Defense Force declared the victory was for all women everywhere.
— ASJ Baloch (@ASJBaloch) October 14, 2017
Here are some other images from Raqqa:
— Inherent Resolve (@CJTFOIR) October 18, 2017
— free (@ele_amadei) October 19, 2017
— Yalda_So♀ (@Yalda_so) October 17, 2017
— Roko Horvat ???? (@RokoHorvat1) October 18, 2017
— CLAUDIA (@ClaudiaAlMina) October 17, 2017
— Rojava (@AzadiRojava) October 16, 2017
— Kurdish Solidarity (@Hevallo) October 17, 2017
Chrenkoff: “Raqqa is free, even if Donald Trump is the president, and even if the news is on the bottom of p. 24.” https://t.co/Lhf3VOxJmU
— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) October 18, 2017
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 17, 2017
— Rojava (@AzadiRojava) October 19, 2017
— ARnews 1936 (@ARnews1936) October 19, 2017
— Robin (@em_bernadin) October 17, 2017
Featured photo via Twitter @SanaMrga