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British YPG fighter Jac Holmes martyred in Raqqa

The BBC reported that British YPG fighter Jac Holmes has fallen while clearing landmines in Raqqa.

Jac Holmes, 24 from Bournemouth, who has been fighting in the ranks of the YPG since 2015, has lost his life while clearing landmines in Raqqa, the BBC reported.

Accordingly, Kurdish representatives in the UK said they had been told by YPG officials the former IT worker from Bournemouth was killed while he was clearing an area to make it safe for civilians.

His mother, Angie Blannin, said the 24-year-old had been a „hero in my eyes“.

She told the BBC: „He loved what he was doing there, he loved being a soldier. He had the courage of his convictions.

„He was just a boy when he left the UK, a little bit lost. He told me he didn‘t know what he wanted to do with his life. But by going out there, he found something that he was good at and that he loved.“

Ms Blannin said she had not seen Jac for over a year, but that they regularly kept in touch online and had been making plans for him coming home.

„He stuck by his convictions because he wanted to be there and he wanted to see the end of Raqqa and to see the end of the caliphate. That was a moment in history, and he wanted to be part of it.“

„We thought with any luck he‘d be home for Christmas. It had been so tough since he had been away but I was always 100% behind him.“

„After all this, he had said he might go into politics, or perhaps into close protection security. He‘d seen so much for a boy of his age.“

Ozkan Ozdil, who also fought with Mr Holmes in Syria, told the BBC his friend had become well-known and respected among Kurdish fighting units.

He said: „Everybody knew Jac. By his third tour out there his Kurdish was fluent. We had a bit of a laugh that he was my Kurdish translator.

„He spoke so fondly about Rojava. He was the reason that made me want to go.“

As a former IT worker, Mr Holmes had no prior military training, but he became one of the longest-serving foreign volunteers in the conflict.

Since 2015, he had travelled to fight with the Kurds three times, and spent more than a year there on his third trip.

„He loved being out there, he loved the people around him. He had a purpose and he was happy,“ said Mr Ozdil.

Mr Holmes fought in operations to push ISIS out of key towns and villages including Tel Hamis, Manbij, Tabqa and Raqqa.

During the battle for the IS stronghold of Raqqa, he became part of a four-man sniper unit made up of international fighters who, like him, had joined the conflict voluntarily.

In the „223 YPG Sniper Unit“ Mr Holmes fought alongside three others from Spain, the US and Germany.


Internationalist in Raqqa gefallen
Jac Holmes

Eine Woche nach der Befreiung Raqqas vom „Islamischen Staat“ ist der britische Internationalist Jac Holmes bei der Räumung von Landminen in der ehemaligen „Hauptstadt“ des IS-Kaliphats gefallen.

Seit 2015 kämpfte der 24-Jährige in der YPG, unter Anderem in den Operationen zur Befreiung von Minbic, Tabqa und zuletzt Raqqa. Erst am 26. September war Mehmet Aksoy, Internationalist und Journalist, einem Daesh-Scharfschützen in Raqqa zum Opfer gefallen.

Lower Class Magazine

ISIS defeated in Raqqa as ‚major military operations‘ declared over

US-backed forces fighting ISIS in Raqqa say „major military operations“ in the city have ended and that the jihadists have lost control of their self-declared capital.

The development marks a decisive victory in the fight against ISIS, though US officials said there were still pockets of resistance in the city.
„Major military operations in Raqqa are finished but they are now clearing the city of sleeper cells — if they exist — and mines,“ Talal Salo, spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, told CNN. The SDF is a coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters.

„The situation in Raqqa is under control and soon there will be an official statement declaring the liberation of the city.“
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by US special forces, holds their flag at the Al-Naim square in Raqqa on October 17, 2017.

Symbol of ISIS decline

The defeat of ISIS in Raqqa is a symbol of the terror group’s decline — it now controls a small strip of territory along the Euphrates river in northern Syria.
The city became the de facto capital of the terror group’s self-proclaimed „caliphate“ following a sweep of territorial gains in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Foreign fighters swelled the ranks of ISIS in Raqqa, which it used as a base to launch terror attacks around the world.
A sustained effort to retake the city began in early June, in an operation led by the SDF and backed up by coalition air strikes. The SDF announced the final phase of the operation at the weekend.

In the past few days, the SDF said it had cleared ISIS fighters from the National Raqqa Hospital and Paradise Square, the infamous area in the center where ISIS jihadists carried out public beheadings and crucifixions.
The terror group’s black flag was hauled down from Raqqa’s stadium, its last hideout in the city, on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
„The SDF have taken casualties in the past hours and we expect there will still be pockets of ISIS fighters in the coming days,“ coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon told CNN.

Syrian Democratic Forces celebrate in Raqqa.

In a sign that the SDF operation was nearing a conclusion, coalition air strikes had eased off in the past week. There was only one US airstrike in Syria Monday, but that was far from Raqqa. Dillon said the SDF hadn‘t asked for air support in the past couple of days.
Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), the award-winning network of citizen journalists who remained in the city throughout the occupation, tweeted Monday that 30 buses and 10 trucks were used to transfer ISIS fighters from Raqqa.

The group also said that since the US-backed operation to free Raqqa began in early June, there had been 3,829 airstrikes on the city, 90 suicide bombings and 1,873 victims. It said 450,000 people had been displaced.
„We don‘t consider it a liberation because SDF has committed many human rights violations against civilians,“ Abdalaziz Alhamza, co-founder of RBSS told CNN.
„Most of Raqqa people, including us, were looking forward to the day that ISIS would be defeated, but not in this scenario, having a new leadership that committed many human rights violations,“ he said.
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), forces, looks out from a building at the frontline in Raqqa on October 16.

Alhamza also warned that the ISIS ideology was still spreading. „They might disappear from Syria and Iraq but they will appear somewhere else,“ he said, adding that many will probably have returned to their families in the countryside.

Humanitarian crisis grows

Meanwhile Save the Children warned that the humanitarian crisis was escalating, despite the retreat of ISIS in the region. „The military offensive in Raqqa may be coming to an end, but the humanitarian crisis is greater than ever,“ the aid group’s Syria director Sonia Khush said in a statement.
It warned that some 270,000 people who had fled the fighting in Raqqa still needed help, and that refugee camps were „bursting at the seams.“
It said that most families had no homes to return to and that thousands of civilians were displaced in the eastern Deir Ezzor province, where fighting was still ongoing Tuesday.

„Many are plagued by nightmares from witnessing horrific violence and will need extensive psychological support,“ Save the Children said.


YPJ/YJŞ flags wave proudly in Raqqa as revenge for all women

Raqqa was the so-called capital of ISIS. When the YPJ took a leading position in the Operation to Liberate Raqqa, they vowed to avenge the women fell victim to massacres. Now flags of the YPJ and YJŞ are fluttering in the wind in Raqqa’s city centre.

70% of Raqqa city, which ISIS had declared the capital of its darkness, has been cleared of the ISIS gangs. The city has not been liberated entirely but flags of the Rojavan Women’s Army, the Women’s Defense Units YPJ, and the Military Force of Shengal’s Women, YJŞ (Shengal Women’s Units), have been planted and are fluttering already in Raqqa’s city centre.

The female fighters are taking revenge for the feminicide on ISIS day by day. Screams and cries for help of helpless women are no longer filling the air of Raqqa city. Now only the ululation of the female warriors reverberates in Raqqa.

When the Operation Wrath of Euphrates was freshly launched, the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) announced that this operation would be an offensive under the lead and command of the women. There was a meaning behind this. In 2014, when ISIS declared itself the „Islamic state“, it directed its attacks on the women in the first place. They targeted women in their sermons and passed dirty and rotten laws. The ISIS gangs mass raped thousands of women, massacred thousands more, abducted thousands of women and sold them as slaves. In particular during their attack on Shengal they kidnapped thousands of Êzidî women and sold them in slave markets. They sent most of those women to Raqqa. Every chunk of soil of the Raqqa city is stained with the blood of these women, who have been murdered, raped and sold. ISIS hit the women in their heart and brain. In response to that the female fighters have taken an oath to strike the heart and brain of ISIS heavily.


YPJ gave this promise to all women and initiated their struggle on this basis. After some time also the Shengal Women’s Units set off to join the operation of revenge. YJŞ fighters stated: „We, the Êzidî women, are joining the war in Raqqa to avenge all the women.“ The YPJ and YJŞ fighters have taken position at the very front lines in this battle. Thus every blow that has been dealt to the ISIS gangs, is part of the revenge taken for the women.


As for now, about 70% of Raqqa has been liberated from the ISIS gangs. The flags of the YPJ and YJŞ are fluttering freely in the wind in many places of Raqqa city. The ISIS gangs are suffering the worst imaginable death at the hands of the women, since they believe to not go to paradise if they get killed by a woman. Women are sending them directly to hell. The flags of the YPJ and YJŞ are waving proudly in the wind as the historic revenge of every single woman that has been abducted, sold and murdered.


Raqqa, which witnessed the desperate screams and cries for help of the women 4 years long, is now bearing witness to the rise of women, who have become free and are now taking their historic revenge. Screams and cries are not escaping the city any longer. But now the ululation of the women fighters is reverberating.



David Taylor ( Zafer Qereçox )

Latest international fighter to fall fighting ISIS with the Kurdish revolutionary forces is David Taylor from Florida, USA.

Rest in Peace


US shows readiness to support al-Raqqa Civil Council

SDF forces enter the third neighborhood in Raqqa

After clearing two neighborhoods of ISIS gangs yesterday, SDF fighters have entered the third neighborhood today amid heavy clashes.

Fighters of the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) cleared the Sabahiyah neighborhood west of Raqqa and al-Mashlab neighborhood east of the city yesterday. The fighters moved on and entered the Romani neighborhood Saturday morning. While ISIS gangs made efforts to stop them through suicide car bomb attacks, clashes that erupted upon the response of SDF fighters continue.

According to reports, 21 ISIS members were killed and a several arms of theirs were seized.

On the other hand, Sdf fighters have discovered many arms, large quantity of ammunition and three corpses of the gangs during ongoing search and sweeping efforts in Sabahiyah neighborhood.



Great War for the liberation of Raqqa begins

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) General Command announced the beginning of the ‘Great War’ for the liberation of Raqqa.

The historical statement that was expected was read by Talal Silo, the commander of the SDF.

Representatives of SDF commanders, representatives of the Raqqa Civilian Council and Co-President Leyla Mustefa and regional tribes were also present in the press statement in Hezîma village north of Raqqa
On behalf of the General Command of SDF, the historical statement of the SDF commander Talal Silo, was announced to the world with the following words:
“After a long struggle, our forces and the forces carrying out a joint struggle against terrorists have marked in history their legends of heroism. From the historical resistance of Kobanê to the liberation of Girê Spî, Hol and Shaddadi, to the villages of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa, and to the dams in these regions, many historic steps have been taken from the liberation of the people in these regions from the terrorists and the fulfillment of their vital needs within existing resources.

Today, in the name of the Operations Room Wrath of Euphrates Command, we announce today that we have launched the “Great War” for the liberation of the city of Raqqa, where the gangs have made the capital of terror and terrorism. The great war will begin with the participation of the Army of Revolutionaries (Jaysh al-Thuwar), Jabhat al-Akrad, Democratic al-Shamal Brigades, Tribal Forces, Maghawir Humus Brigades, Siqur al-Raqqa, Liwa al-Tahrir, Seljuk Turkmen Brigade, Hamam Turkmen Martyrs Battalion, Sanadid Forces, Syriac Military Council, Manbij Military Council, Deir ez-Zor Military Council, Self-Defense Forces, Asayish Forces, YPG/YPJ and Nuxbe Forces. This battle is taking place with the help of the Raqqa Civilian Council, the Syrian Democratic Council (MSD), the tribal opinion leaders in the region, and also with the help of our people in the region.

We announce the good news of the start of the Great War which aims to liberate Raqqa city, and we declare that our forces are ready for the fight with high morale and great preparations. We state that the battle plan which has been discussed with our partners on the ground, the International Coalition, is ready to be implemented. As seen in the attacks against Karachok, many forces have made intensive efforts to prevent this historic campaign, but this attack and futile efforts have all been wasted. Contrary to what these opposing efforts and attacks aim at, we have strengthened our will, further knowing our hatred against terrorism and increased our struggle will against it. In this sense, each Karachok martyr has become a torch illuminating our way. Staying attached to the memories of the Karachok martyrs, we will conclude this great battle successfully and present this historic victory to the souls of our martyrs.
Once again, we call on our people in Raqqa to stay away from the enemy’s centers, vulnerable spots and conflict areas. We call on our people to gather around our forces and help them so that they can fulfill their duties. We are also urging the youth of Raqqa to continue their involvement in our forces to liberate the lands they live in.

In this historic day, we respect our martyrs who sacrificed their lives for us to arrive to the stage where we are now, and we wish our heroes a quick healing process. Once again in the name of the Operations Room Wrath of Euphrates, we salute the fighters and commanders of all the forces and groups involved in the Great War. We also express our thanks to the International Coalition Forces.
We also greet our people of all sects and religions who resist the terrorists, and the press workers who shares the developments in the war zone with the public and is with our forces for live footage.”


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