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US: Assad regime hinders Raqqah liberation

'Pro-regime forces attacked our partners and attempted to block them from liberating the Syrian people,' White House says

US: Assad regime hinders Raqqah liberation

By Michael Hernandez


The Syrian regime and its allies are hindering the liberation of Raqqah by U.S.-supported forces, the White House charged Wednesday.

"Instead of focusing on fighting ISIS, the pro-regime forces attacked our partners and attempted to block them from liberating the Syrian people from the brutality of ISIS," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Daesh.

Over 90 percent of the city once claimed by Daesh as its Syrian capital has been cleared of the terrorist group, according to the Pentagon.

"With the stunning fall of Mosul in June, and now with ISIS nearly eradicated from Raqqah, it is clear that ISIS' so-called caliphate is crumbling across Iraq and Syria," Sanders said.

"While we know ISIS and its destructive ideology will remain a threat, the liberation of Raqqah will mark the beginning of a new phase in the Syrian conflict," she added, stressing that Washington will continue to seek reduced violence across Syria.

The U.S. has supported a number of militia groups under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), including the PKK/PYD, which is considered by Ankara as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organization that has waged a more than 30-year war against the Turkish state.

Sanders said the "eminent victory" in Raqqah is due to the sacrifices of the global coalition and its partners, particularly the SDF "who suffered many casualties as they fought to liberate their own country from the oppression of ISIS".

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