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Syrian Democratic Forces 'at gates of Raqqa' as they reclaim villages from Isis control

Published 15/03/2016

Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces head towards the frontline on November 9, 2015 near the Isis-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces head towards the frontline on November 9, 2015 near the Isis-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Female Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces take up positions near the frontline on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Female Kurdish troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces speak in a forward operating base overlooking the frontline on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces prepare to fire mortars on ISIL positions on the frontline on November 11, 2015 near Hasaka, in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces are moving closer to the gates of Raqqa, Isis's de-facto capital in Syria, reports say.

The armed groups, made up mostly of Kurds from the YPG and YPJ fighting units, along with Arabs and Christians, are now 20 miles from Raqqa, Sky News reports.

HOLE, SYRIA - NOVEMBER 10: Female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces discuss frontline positions from a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. The coalition of forces, primarily Kurdish, are attacking ISIL extremists in the area near the Iraqi border and calling in airstrikes from U.S.-led coalition warplanes. The autonomous region of Rojava in northern Syria has become a bulwark against the Islamic State. The Rojava armed forces, with the aid of U.S. airstrikes and weapons, are retaking territory which had earlier been captured much by ISIL from the Syrian regime. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
HOLE, SYRIA - NOVEMBER 10: Female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces discuss frontline positions from a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. The coalition of forces, primarily Kurdish, are attacking ISIL extremists in the area near the Iraqi border and calling in airstrikes from U.S.-led coalition warplanes. The autonomous region of Rojava in northern Syria has become a bulwark against the Islamic State. The Rojava armed forces, with the aid of U.S. airstrikes and weapons, are retaking territory which had earlier been captured much by ISIL from the Syrian regime. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces prepare to fire mortars on ISIL positions on the frontline on November 11, 2015 near Hasaka, in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces prepare to fire mortars on ISIL positions on the frontline on November 11, 2015 near Hasaka, in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been celebrating a string of victories as they reclaim villages from Isis control.

In the hopes of retaking communities from Isis those suspected of being Isis militants are arrested and men are often taken aside for questioning.

With the help of coalition air strikes, the soldiers advanced from al-Shaddadi to link up with a second group from the SDF, who were attacking from Saluk, near the Turkish border.

The move cut off nearly 4,000 square miles of Isis land.

Read more

'Isis militants are afraid of girls': Kurdish female fighters believe they have an unexpected advantage fighting in Syria

Syria's Kurdish women leading pincer movement against Isis on the road that leads to Raqqa  

Rizgar Serekani, an SDF commander, told Sky News: "We're trying to create a barrier between here and Raqqa, to stop Isis movement and clear the area of all Isis."

Kurdish female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces stand in a forward operating base overlooking the frontline on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Kurdish female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces stand in a forward operating base overlooking the frontline on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Raqqa was captured by Isis forces in August 2014 and has since acted as the group's headquarters in Syria.

Syrian government forces, backed by air strikes, recently took rebel ground around Aleppo and said they were poised to advance on Raqqa.

Independent

A Kurdish female soldier from the Syrian Democratic Forces rests from frontline action at a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A Kurdish female soldier from the Syrian Democratic Forces rests from frontline action at a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A female soldier from the Syrian Democratic Forces stands with fellow troops at a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A female soldier from the Syrian Democratic Forces stands with fellow troops at a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Kurdish female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces speak in a forward operating base overlooking the frontline on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Kurdish female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces speak in a forward operating base overlooking the frontline on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Soldiers from the Syrian Democratic Forces discuss frontline movements from a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Soldiers from the Syrian Democratic Forces discuss frontline movements from a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Kurdish commanders from the Syrian Democratic Forces coordinate frontline troop movements with the aid of a tablet at a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Kurdish commanders from the Syrian Democratic Forces coordinate frontline troop movements with the aid of a tablet at a forward operating base on November 10, 2015 near the ISIL-held town of Hole in the autonomous region of Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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