US-backed militants declare ‘curfew’ in Syria’s Raqqah
US-backed militants reportedly declare a curfew in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah, citing alleged Daesh movements.
The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the two-day measure on Sunday “in response to intelligence on potential attacks” by the Takfiri terror group.
Local authorities said they had received “information that terrorist groups working on behalf of Daesh … have entered Raqqah city to carry out attacks against stability and security.”
Therefore, they decided to put in place “a state of emergency and a curfew in Raqqah city starting at 5:00am (0200 GMT) on Sunday June 24, 2018, until 5:00 am on Tuesday.”
Daesh lost its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqah after four months of ferocious fighting and bombing by the SDF and the US that left the city in ruins.
During the operation, Russia accused the United States and its allies of “carpet-bombing” residential areas.
Daesh’s territory in Syria’s north and east has been whittled down to just a handful of isolated pockets but security incidents around Raqqah have been on the rise in recent weeks.
The US supports several militant groups in Syria, notably Kurds, sparking fears that they might be trying to create a statelet outside the Syrian government’s control.
On Sunday, Washington was reported to have sent a message to the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), telling the militant group it should no longer rely on its support.
A copy of a message, seen by Reuters, said the US government wanted to make clear that “you should not base your decisions on the assumption or expectation of a military intervention by us.”
The message came amid reports that the Syrian government had launched an offensive to regain militant-held parts of Syria bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The FSA began waging militancy in Syria in 2011. Washington has provided the group with arms and salaries under a military aid program run by the Central Intelligence Agency.