U.S.-backed Syrian forces expect Raqqa assault soon, await weapons

Reuters News
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Posted: May 12, 2017 5:35 AM

TABQA, Syria (Reuters) - The Syrian Democratic Forces said on Friday that they would soon begin an attack to retake Raqqa city from Islamic State and that they expected the U.S.-led coalition to supply them with weapons including armored vehicles as the assault gets under way.

"It will be in the coming period of time. I can't specify exactly, I believe entering and storming the city will happen at the start of the summer," SDF commander Abdul Qader Hevdeli said in a news conference from the city of Tabqa, which the SDF recently retook from IS.

"At the start of entering (Raqqa), of course, as (the U.S.-led coalition) promised us, there will be support in the form of specialized weapons, armored vehicles or others," he said.

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He said that weapons the White House has approved for the Kurdish YPG militia, a major component of the SDF, had yet to arrive. "I believe these weapons or this support will arrive soon," he said.

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Hugh Lawson)