Syrian Democratic Forces clear Great Mosque of Raqqa
The seizure of the Old City of Raqqah and especially the Great Mosque is a milestone in the ongoing battle to defeat ISIS in Raqqah and all of Syria. The SDF and Syrian Arab Coalition also evacuated thousands of civilians and went to great lengths to limit damage to infrastructure, including to the ancient mosque.
The Great Mosque is the oldest mosque in the city and has been under ISIS control since 2014 when the terrorist group captured the city from the people of Syria. ISIS deliberately and consistently uses protected civilian infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and mosques as headquarters, weapons factories and finance hubs.
“The liberation of this historic landmark is a testimony to the dedication and courage of the SDF as they fight to defeat ISIS in Raqqah,” said Coalition Spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon. “The SDF have made consistent incremental gains in the urban terrain of the city, fighting block by block, and applying increasing pressure on ISIS each day while evacuating civilians along the way.”
The Coalition contributes to the defeat of ISIS by providing the SDF with equipment, training, intelligence, precision fire support and military advice to leaders. The Coalition continues to work by, with, and through the SDF as they fight to defeat ISIS in Raqqah and throughout Syria.