(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BEIRUT - A Kurdish and Arab Syrian militia backed by the United States has captured the town of Karama as it prepares for an assault on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa that it expects to take place in early April, it said on Sunday.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has trapped Raqqa in a shrinking pocket of territory on the northern bank of the Euphrates and has advanced towards it in a multi-pronged offensive over several months.
Dejwar Khabat, a field commander with the SDF, said he expects the assault on Raqqa to begin in early April, affirming a timeline reported by Reuters earlier this month, after the U.S.-backed militia closes the gap on the city on more fronts.
He was answering Reuters questions in a press conference with local reporters in Karama, the last significant town to the east of Raqqa, which lies about 18km (11 miles) away along the Euphrates. Another thrust of the SDF advance has already reached a few kilometers from Raqqa in the northeast.