SDF relaunches Raqqa campaign after US arms approval

Commanders of the SDF leading Operation Wrath of Euphrates in Syria's north.

The Operation Wrath of Euphrates Command Room released a statement on Wednesday saying the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had relaunched the campaign to capture Raqqa from the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group after a 15 day suspension.

The operation was suspended following airstrikes by Turkish fighter jets on SDF’s leading faction, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions in northeast Syria in April.

According to the statement, published on ANF news agency, the operation was reinitiated on Tuesday evening, coinciding with the US approval of heavy weapons and armoured vehicle provisions directly to the YPG.

“Despite futile terror attack attempts and Erdogan’s efforts to obstruct the YPG with attacks from behind, our forces responded to the aggression. We emphasise that the obstacles and devious attacks did not break but on the contrary strengthened our will and determination in the fight against terror.” the statement read.

The group is expected to mount an offensive on the central neighbourhoods of Raqqa after having surrounded the city earlier.

The Operation Wrath of Euphrates was launched in November 2016 by two dozen military factions including Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian and Turkmen forces, which make up the Coalition-backed SDF.