Tue 13 Nov 2018

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Raqqa: Curfew and Large-Scale Arrest Campaigns Launched by “SDF”

Internal Security Forces under “SDF” in Raqqa (Security Forces, Facebook)

Internal Security Forces under “SDF” in Raqqa (Security Forces, Facebook)

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The “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) launched a large-scale arrest campaign in the western countryside of the city of Raqqa, which targeted people wanted for the compulsory military services and others accused of belonging to the “Islamic State” (ISIS) after imposing a total curfew in the city.

Enab Baladi’s reporter in the eastern region has today, Friday (September7) said that the arrest campaign has targeted more than 20 people in the city and its western countryside in the past three days, during which “SDF” stormed shops and homes.

“SDF” imposed a curfew on the town of Tabqah, west of Raqqa, which began at dawn today, preventing residents from leaving their homes, except for two hours between 10 am and 12 noon. This was justified by seeking the safety of civilians until the end of the “security operations,” as it declared in a statement published on it social media platforms.

According to the reporter, the campaign is also aimed at disarming the city’s people, in addition to the arrest of those accused of belonging to the “Islamic state,” as a result of the increased operations that have been targeting the forces of “SDF” in the few past weeks.

The “Raqqa Is being Slaughtered Silently” network has today reported that “SDF” has started mobilizing its forces since yesterday, after it brought in reinforcements from Manbij, northern Aleppo, and cut off roads in the city and its western outskirts, before the curfew came into effect early today.

The network added that the campaign began raiding houses and shops in search of weapons and people it demanded for security issues, as well as the people who are wanted for forced recruitment in its ranks. The campaign focused on the town of al-Mansura, the western countryside of the governorate.

This was preceded by the spread of “SDF” checkpoints on the Raqqa-Tabqah road, at Ja’bar’ gate, to stop the traffic and movement in full preparation for the campaign and surrounded the farm of al-Khatounia and the neighborhood of Hawi al-Hawa.

The internal committee, “SDF” affiliate, in the city of Tabqah has justified this with the presence of ISIS-affiliated cells that are seeking to escalate the situation against it. Through its “Facebook” account, the committee said that the curfew will last until a further notice.

The security move comes after a series of security operations carried out by the “Islamic State” against “SDF” forces during the past two weeks, including an officer and a number of personal, who were killed by an explosive device near the amusement park in the center of the city of Raqqa.

It is not the first time that the “Islamic State” has announced attacks in Raqqa after its retreat from the area.

In 2016, “SDF” launched a military campaign to control Raqqa and was able to seize it from the hands of the “Islamic state” in October, coinciding with the advance of Assad’s forces in its southern countryside.

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