The Syrian Democratic Forces’ Oct. 20 liberation of Raqqa, Syria, exposed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s lies and cowardice and the evil of its ideology, Army Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, told Pentagon reporters today.
Briefing the press via teleconference from Baghdad, the commander said despite ISIS’s defeat in Raqqa, the terrorist organization still exists, and the U.S.-led coalition will not back off from supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces.
And, “together, the coalition will continue [its] support to the SDF as they liberate the remainder of areas along the Euphrates River to the border with Iraq,” Jarrard said.
The SDF began their push to liberate Raqqa June 6.
“This multireligious and multiethnic alliance of Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Yezidis, Armenians and Turkmen — which also includes female fighters and commanders — overpowered, entrenched the enemy and demonstrated courage and tenacity in the face of significant losses,” he said.
Precision coalition air support and ground artillery enabled the SDF’s advance and minimized civilian casualties in the process, Jarrard emphasized.
“[ISIS] has no capital and no physical caliphate,” he said. “[ISIS] is running out of places to hide. [ISIS] terrorists are running away from our partners in the coalition. Their leaders are in hiding. Raqqa was freed by Syrians. Raqqa will be secured by Syrians. Raqqa will be governed by Syrians.”
Source: U.S. Department of Defense