Skip to main content

Kurdish-backed militia launches Raqqa operation as another declares war on Turkey

Coming just days after the Pentagon began distributing weapons to the YPG, Turkey could easily construe threats of escalation by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons as proof that US support for the Syrian Kurds emboldens the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stand in the village of Hazima on the northern outskirts of the Islamic States (IS) group's Syrian bastion of Raqa on June 6, 2017.
SDF broke into Raqa less than an hour after declaring a new phase in their fight for the city. / AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN        (Photo credit should read DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Syrian Kurdish militia and its Arab allies known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) formally announced the start of the fight to liberate Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State, just as another Kurdish group declared it was escalating its war against Turkey.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) declared today in an incendiary statement that just as Turkey had launched “a ruthless war against the Kurdish people,” it too would be more ruthless than ever before against the Turkish state. TAK, which murdered numerous civilians in a string of previous attacks, vowed to target Turkey’s already buckling tourism industry, igniting the “fires of hell” in Turkish cities. The statement read, “We call our brave Kurdish girls and boys to take part in this war of revenge, this struggle for honor.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.