U.S.-allied Syrian groups form civilian council to run Raqqa




BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-allied militias in northern Syria announced on Tuesday the formation of a civilian council to govern Raqqa after their planned capture of the city from Islamic State militants.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which include a large contingent from the powerful Kurdish YPG militia, has advanced toward Raqqa with the help of air strikes and special forces from the U.S.-led coalition.

The SDF - made up of both Kurds and Arabs waging a military campaign against Islamic State - said local officials had been setting up the council for six months.

Reuters reported last month that the political wing of the SDF was helping to install a civilian council to run the eastern Syrian city, Islamic State's base of operations in Syria.

A preparatory committee met "with the people and important tribal figures of Raqqa city to find out their opinions on how to govern it", the SDF said in a statement.

Spokesman Talal Selo said the SDF would "provide all the support" and had already turned over some towns around Raqqa city to the council after driving out Islamic State militants.

The extent of Kurdish control in Raqqa's future is sensitive both for residents and for Ankara, which has fought a three-decade Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey and fears growing YPG ascendancy just over the border in northern Syria.

The United States says a final decision has yet to be made on how and when Raqqa will be captured. But the SDF is pressing its assault near the city to isolate and ultimately take Raqqa while plans for civilian rule take shape.

The establishment of a local council allied to the SDF in Raqqa could expand a sphere of Kurdish influence that has grown in northern Syria during the six-year, multi-sided conflict. It would mirror governing arrangements put in place in the Manbij area after the SDF repelled Islamic State.

(Reporting by Ellen Francis; editing by Mark Heinrich)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Assad
Assad's march east compounds West's Syria dilemma
  • World
  • 2017-08-17 06:11:38Z

By Tom Perry and Suleiman Al-Khalidi BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - Syria's war has entered a new phase as President Bashar al-Assad extends his grip in areas being captured from Islamic State, using firepower freed by Russian-backed truces in western Syria. Backed by Russia and Iran, the government

With a wary eye on Iran, Saudi and Iraqi leaders draw closer
With a wary eye on Iran, Saudi and Iraqi leaders draw closer
  • World
  • 2017-08-16 20:30:52Z

By Ahmed Rasheed and Sylvia Westall BAGHDAD/DUBAI (Reuters) - It was an unusual meeting: An Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim cleric openly hostile to the United States sat in a palace sipping juice at the invitation of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the Sunni kingdom that is Washington's main ally in

US-led strikes kill 17 in Syria
US-led strikes kill 17 in Syria's Raqa: monitor

US-led coalition air strikes on the Islamic State group's remaining territory in Syria's Raqa city killed 17 civilians on Wednesday, including children, a monitor said. The coalition is providing air support in the form of heavy air strikes for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia as it battles to oust IS from its onetime stronghold. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the deaths on Wednesday followed two days of deadly strikes.

Iran
Iran's military chief in rare visit to Turkey for Syria talks

By Parisa Hafezi and Tuvan Gumrukcu ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish and Iranian military leaders held talks on Wednesday over cooperation in the Syrian conflict and counter-terrorism, officials said, during a rare visit to NATO-member Turkey by the Islamic Republic's military chief of staff. Turkey's ties with Washington have been strained by U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, and the visit by Iranian General Mohammad Baqeri is the latest sign that Ankara is increasing cooperation with other powers such as Iran and Russia. Baqeri met his Turkish counterpart on Tuesday and Turkey's Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli on Wednesday in what Turkish media said was the first visit by an...

Russia, Syria Surround 3,000 Square Miles of ISIS Land
Russia, Syria Surround 3,000 Square Miles of ISIS Land

After reportedly doubling their control of the country, Syrian troops conducted a nighttime raid behind enemy lines with the help of Russia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.