Syrian Democratic Forces Say Need Up to 15 Days to Block, Start Storming Raqqa

© REUTERS / Rodi SaidA Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter rests with his weapon on a vehicle camouflaged with mud, north of Raqqa city, Syria November 7, 2016
A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter rests with his weapon on a vehicle camouflaged with mud, north of Raqqa city, Syria November 7, 2016 - Sputnik International
The Syrian Democratic Forces units will need no more than 15 days to block Raqqa, the so-called capital of the Daesh militant group (banned in numerous countries) and begin storing the city, SDF spokesman Talal Selo said.

DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — The Global Coalition to Counter ISIS has been fighting the Daesh terror group for two years. Since 2014, members of the 68 countries have done their best to drive the black-flagged militants out of Syria and Iraq, where the group claims territory.

US-Led Coalition Denies Involvement in Daquq Airstrikes Against Civilians - Sputnik International
Playing With a Short Deck: US Anti-Daesh Summit Leaves Out Key Players

Interestingly, the coalition has not gathered in full since 2014. They're getting together now in the US capital, "review[ing] the progress that has been made against the terror group and ‘accelerating' efforts to defeat and destroy the group in Iraq and Syria, including disrupting their financing and the flow of foreign fighters," according to an ABC News announcement.

"The process of isolation of Raqqa will finish in at most 15 days. After this, the operation to liberate the city itself will begin," Tello told Al-Watan newspaper.

Islamic State billboards are seen along a street in Raqqa, eastern Syria. The billboard (R) reads: We will win despite the global coalition (File) - Sputnik International
Turkey Refuses to Work Alongside PKK, PYD in Raqqa Liberation - Deputy PM

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are now located about 80 kilometers from Raqqa, the de-facto capital of Daesh and are closing in on Raqqa in a pincer movement with Kurdish forces from the north. At the same time, Iraqi forces, supported by the US and its coalition, are basically stuck in Mosul. The operation there that was supposed to end with triumph before the US presidential election in November is still underway, and has resulted in extreme civilian losses.

Trump repeatedly emphasized defeating Daesh as one of his primary goals during his presidential campaign; to achieve this, he has claimed, he is going to arrange coordination between the coalition and Russia to fight the terror group together. Leaving Russia out of the coalition summit seems, then, a missed opportunity.

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