Kurdish forces prepare to attack Raqa

2016-03-31 22:49
A woman pushing a stoller walks past a government soldier during clashes in central Diyarbakir. (Ilyas Akengin, AFP)

A woman pushing a stoller walks past a government soldier during clashes in central Diyarbakir. (Ilyas Akengin, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Kurdish forces in Syria are preparing with the international coalition to "liberate" the Islamic State stronghold of Raqa, the leader of Syria's Kurds said on Thursday.

"The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are preparing with the coalition to liberate Raqa," Saleh Muslim told reporters in Paris.

The SDF are dominated by Kurdish forces.

Muslim, the head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), added however that the fighters would need the support of up to 50 000 "Arab residents of the Raqa region" to take the northeastern town which the jihadists have made their base.

The PYD chief said his forces were currently attempting to take control of a 70km corridor "which is the terrorists' only access route".

Muslim said the ISIS fighters who had fled Palmyra when Syrian regime forces seized control of the ancient city last week are now heading towards the town of Azaz from Turkey.

"This corridor between Turkey and Raqa must be closed, with the help of coalition air support," he added.

A year ago, Kurdish forces fought off an ISIS offensive on the shattered Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish border after several months of fierce fighting.

The PYD is currently barred from the peace talks on Syria taking place in Geneva, but Muslim said he hoped they would be able to take part in the future.

The PYD was not invited to participate because Turkey considers the party to be an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for a Kurdish homeland in Turkey since 1984.

But the PYD denies being a branch of the PKK and insists it has no interest in attacking Turkey.

Read more on:    isis  |  pkk  |  syria

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.