Syrian opposition leader says group will join SDF in Raqqa operation

Ahmad Jarba, Leader of Syrian Elite Forces

Speaking in Cairo, the leader of the opposition Syrian Elite Forces, Ahmad Jarba, has announced that his group will take part in the operation to take Raqqa from the Islamic State (IS) group alongside the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

According to Reuters the news was welcomed in Washington. The US has supported the SDF in its operation to take Raqqa with air cover, while also recently supplying them with armoured vehicles.

Jarba, who leads a force of 3,000 fighters, said they were being trained by coalition forces in preparation for the assault. “We have a joint training program with coalition forces. We will initiate a strong assault and liberate our lands.”

Referring to Russia-US relations, Jarba said, “We hope that the USA and Russia come to an agreement. Because us Syrians have suffered the most from differences between Russia and the USA.”