FSA spokesman confirms aid for 'decisive battle to liberate Raqqa'

Western media began reporting early this week that America intends to increase material support to Kurdish and Arab forces in northeast Syria in advance of an offensive on the Islamic State's de facto capital of A-Raqqa city.

“We have received large promises surrounding future military aid, and we really did begin to receive equipment,” Abu Muadh A-Raqqa, spokesman for Liwa Thuwwar Raqqa, part of the Euphrates Volano operations room, tells Ammar Hamou, without specifying the source of the military aid.

Liwa Thuwwar Raqqa intends to use the equipment “to exterminate IS in Raqqa city and its countryside.”

Q: There have been reports of an upcoming battle to liberate A-Raqqa city. When we spoke previously, you confirmed that preparations for the liberation of A-Raqqa were underway—is the start of the battle close?

Yes, Liwa Thuwar a-Raqqa are preparing for an extremely important, decisive battle in order to liberate the remainder of the northern Raqqa countryside. After that, work will begin to liberate Raqqa city from the IS gangs.

We're coordinating militarily with the Kurds and the Tribes' Army (Jaish al-Ashair) in order to fight our shared enemy.

Q: Western media has reported that America intends to send aid to Kurdish and Arab fighters in Tel Abyad to support their upcoming battles to the south in A-Raqqa. Did you receive anything?

We have received promises surrounding future military aid and we really did begin to receive equipment to exterminate IS in Raqqa city and its countryside.

There is no other operations room in Tel Abyad aside from Euphrates Volcano. Jaish al-Ashair, which is composed of Raqqa tribesman, has joined up with Liwa Thuwwar Raqqa.

Q: Has the FSA-affiliated Liwa Thuwwar Raqqa been hit by Russian strikes as others have been in the Hama and Idlib countrysides?

Until now, thank God, no, we have not been targeted by the Russian occupation's planes. Despite this, we expect that we will be targeted by Russian planes, which are helping the criminal Assad regime kill more civilians.

Ammar Hamou

Ammar Hammou is from Douma city in outer Damascus. He studied journalism at Damascus University and left Syria in 2011.

Dan Wilkofsky

Dan Wilkofsky was a 2013-2014 fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) in Amman, Jordan, where he worked with Talal Abu Ghazaleh Translation and the Ministry of Social Development. He has a BA in Classics (Latin) and Middle East Studies from Brown University.