09:39 GMT27 January 2020
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    The British defense secretary said that western-backed militants in Syria are preparing to isolate the Islamist stronghold of Raqqa by spring, with an offensive likely to begin around that time.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Western-backed militants in Syria are preparing to isolate the Islamist stronghold of Raqqa by spring, with an offensive likely to begin around that time, the British defense secretary said Saturday.

    "I hope that isolation will be completed by the spring and then operations to liberate Raqqa itself can begin thereafter," Michael Fallon told reporters during a visit to Baghdad, as quoted by the Sky News network.

    Fallon reportedly said he had discussed progress in the fight against the Islamic State (Daesh) terror group in Syria with commanders of the 65-nation US-led coalition. He said militants from the Syrian Democratic Forces were prepared to advance on Raqqa from the west and from the north.

    The British defense chief also praised the British air force for striking at Daesh positions in and around its other stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq. He said he was delighted to see the east of Mosul free from Daesh fighters and predicted the entire city would be liberated this year.


    US-Led Coalition Started Disabling Bridges Near Syria's Raqqa - Pentagon
    Isolation of Syria's Raqqa to Be Completed Within 'Next Few Weeks' - Pentagon
    US-Led Coalition Airstrikes Destroy Daesh Headquarters in Raqqa, Mosul
    Trump Scraps Obama's Plan for Liberating Raqqa: What Does It Mean for Russia?
    Trump 'Likely to Team Up With Russia, Damascus to Liberate Raqqa From Daesh'
    Daesh, Syria, Raqqa, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik