Syrian Arab Republic: Ar-Raqqa Situation Report No. 1 (as of 31 January 2017) [EN/AR]

35-40,000
people displaced, most of them temporarily
50,000
people reached with winter-related assistance in various areas across Ar-Raqqa
8,428
people were supported with food assistance
$79m
funding gap for the Ar-Raqqa preparedness plan and response efforts

Highlights

  • On 6 November 2016, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) initiated Operation Wrath of Euphrates and advanced towards Ar-Raqqa city.

  • An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people were displaced during advances, yet, most displacement has been short-term.

  • Reportedly, vital infrastructure has been destroyed by ISIL upon their withdrawal and levels of UXO contamination are high.

Situational Overview

In early November 2016, the SDF announced Operation Wrath of Euphrates to retake the northern parts of Ar-Raqqa governorate. By the end of November, significant areas were re-taken from ISIL, including the strategic town of Tal Elsamen, which resulted in the displacement of more than 10,000 civilians. SDF troops, backed by US-led coalition's airstrikes, were able to advance in most of the western countryside with a focus on clearing and holding villages along a number of key supply lines north, west and east of Ar-Raqqa City.

On 10 December 2016, the SDF launched the second phase of the operation, with the aim of capturing the north-western and western countryside of Ar-Raqqa governorate, and ultimately to reach and secure Tabqa Dam. Fighting ceased on 20 January once SDF reached the Dam of Euphrates. Recent reports indicate that SDF forces are currently near Raqqa City.

On 4 February 2017, the SDF announced the third phase of Euphrates Wrath Operation aiming at cutting communications between Ar-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor while continuing to advance on the ISIL "capital".

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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