Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today welcomed the official announcement by the Global Coalition against Daesh of the liberation of the Syrian city of Raqqah.
“This is a devastating blow against Daesh and its perverted ideology,” Minister Payne said.
“Raqqah was the nominal capital of Daesh’s so-called ‘caliphate’ and was central to its political and ideological narrative.”
Minister Payne recognised this historic victory marked significant progress in the counter-Daesh campaign, and commended the Syrian Democratic Forces for their determination in liberating Raqqah from the barbaric control of Daesh.
“The actions of Daesh in Raqqah, as well as numerous other parts of Syria and Iraq, have been appalling,” she said.
“Daesh uses oppression and brutality to rule. During battle Daesh uses civilians as human shields, murders civilians for attempting to escape, and indiscriminately uses improvised explosive devices near homes and throughout neighbourhoods.”
Minister Payne also highlighted the important and hard work that remains to defeat Daesh, and the role Australia continues to play in the counter-Daesh Coalition.
“Australian Defence Force (ADF) aircraft provided air support to the Coalition air campaign in Raqqah.
“I acknowledge the great work of the men and women of the ADF who continue to make a significant contribution to the defeat of Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
“Alongside our Coalition partners, Australia remains committed to the mission, which now shifts to clearing Daesh from its remaining territory in the Euphrates River Valley on either side of the Iraqi-Syrian border,” Minister Payne said.