The SDF says the US has supplied them with armoured vehicles to defeat ISIS
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) says it has received armoured vehicles from the US-led coalition against ISIS to help in their fight against the depraved jihadis.
The fighters say the vehicles signal full support from Washington over the battle following Donald Trump’s campaign promises to eradicate ISIS.
SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters the US-led coalition supplied the SDF with armoured vehicles for the first time four or five days ago.
There are signs of full support from the new American leadership – more than before – for our forces.
SDF spokesman Talal Silo
Although the number was small, Mr Silo called it a significant shift in support. He declined to give an exact number.
He said: "Previously we didn't get support in this form, we would get light weapons and ammunition.
"There are signs of full support from the new American leadership – more than before – for our forces."
A Kurdish military source said the next phase of a campaign by the SDF alliance – which includes the Kurdish YPG militia – aimed to cut the last remaining routes to Raqqa, including the road to Deir al-Zor, in a major blow to the terror group.
The YPG has been the main partner on the ground in Syria for the US-led coalition, fighting as part of the SDF alliance that has driven ISIS from swathes of northern Syria with the coalition's air support.
Donald Trump prepares to sign a memorandum to security services directing them to defeat ISIS
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The YPG also has links to a Kurdish party, the PKK, branded a terrorist group by Turkey.
It forms the military backbone of autonomous regions that have been set up by Kurdish groups and their allies in northern Syria since the onset of the war in 2011.
The main Syrian Kurdish groups say their aim is autonomy, not independence.
The shift in support from Washington is likely to heighten Turkish worries over Kurdish power in Syria.
Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, prepare for an assault on ISIS in Raqqa
A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces drives on the outskirts of Raqqa
The Kurdish military source said: "The coming phase of the campaign aims to isolate Raqqa completely.
"Accomplishing this requires reaching the Raqqa-Deir al-Zor road.
"This mission will be difficult."
The US president vowed to defeat ISIS during his election campaign and said ISIS would disappear "very, very quickly" under his administration.
The fight against ISIS
Fri, November 18, 2016
The battle against ISIS militants (also abbreviated as Daesh, ISIL, IS and Islamic State) continues in the Middle East.
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Forces battle against ISIS
Mr Trump said: "I won't tell them where and I won't tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable.
“Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world.”
In his inauguration speech he vowed to eradicate ISIS and in recent days branded the terrorists “sneaky, dirty rats”.