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

US cites preparations for chemical weapons attack in Syria
US cites preparations for chemical weapons attack in Syria
  • World
  • 2017-06-27 22:23:52Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration said Tuesday it has detected "active preparations" by Syria for a chemical attack and threatened to retaliate - warning of action that could plunge America deeper into a civil war alongside the fight against Islamic State militants.

Iraqi forces set sight on Old City riverside, PM sees Mosul victory soon
Iraqi forces set sight on Old City riverside, PM sees Mosul victory soon
  • World
  • 2017-06-27 12:04:17Z

By Stephen Kalin MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces on Tuesday pushed towards the river side of Mosul's Old City, their key target in the eight-month campaign to capture Islamic State's de-facto capital, and Iraq's prime minister predicted victory very soon. Iraqi forces, battling up

U.S. eyes arms for YPG fighters in Syria even after Raqqa
U.S. eyes arms for YPG fighters in Syria even after Raqqa's fall
  • World
  • 2017-06-27 08:29:41Z

By Phil Stewart MUNICH (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday left open the possibility of longer-term assistance to Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, saying the U.S. may need to supply them weapons and equipment even after the capture of Raqqa from Islamic State. NATO ally Turkey, which

U.S. says it appears Syria planning another chemical weapons attack
U.S. says it appears Syria planning another chemical weapons attack
  • World
  • 2017-06-27 02:39:44Z

The White House said on Monday it appears the Syrian government is preparing for another chemical weapons attack and it warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he and his military would "pay a heavy price" if it conducts such an attack. The White House statement said preparations by Syria

SitRep: CIA
SitRep: CIA's Secret Syria Contacts; Tillerson Bashed by Anonymous WH Officials; State Shuttering Afghan Office

Pentagon Push in Africa; Israel and Syria Spar; U.S. Arming Jets in South Korea

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.