U.S.-backed SDF says has enough forces to take Syrian city of Raqqa

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2017 3:44 AM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Syrian militias have enough forces to capture the city of Raqqa from Islamic State with support from the U.S.-led coalition, a spokeswoman for the Syrian militias said on Friday, underlining their opposition to any Turkish role in the attack.

"The number of our forces is now increasing, particularly from among the people of the area, and we have enough strength to liberate Raqqa with support from the coalition forces," Jihan Sheikh Ahmed, spokeswoman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said in a statement.

"We have information that the enemy is moving part of its leadership outside the city, as it is also digging tunnels under the ground. We expect they will fortify the city and the terrorist group will depend on street warfare," she added.

The SDF includes the Kurdish YPG militia, deeply distrusted by Turkey.

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Gareth Jones)