Combat engineers with Special Ops Joint Task Force erect steel bridge in former ISIS capital Raqqa
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 4, 2018 — A coalition team working with Syrian partners erected a steel bridge in only 16 hours Dec. 27 near the village of Hawi al-Hawa, west of Syria’s Raqqa Province.
Engineers attached to Operation Inherent Resolve’s Special Operations Joint Task Force led the effort, which officials said allows the Raqqa Internal Security Force to provide security to the people of Raqqa and facilitates greater humanitarian assistance and relief efforts there.
“The bridge provides much-needed access to parts of Raqqa following the destruction to critical infrastructure caused by [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria],” said Army Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, commanding general of the special operations task force. “The bridge will enable the Raqqa Civil Council to increase required humanitarian assistance efforts and will improve vital access by improvised explosive device experts working to reduce threats to citizens.”
Construction of this bridge is a welcome sight to Raqqa residents, who were liberated in October from more than three years of ISIS brutality, officials said. Since then, they added, Raqqa residents have taken on governance of their city through the Raqqa Civil Council, which leads recovery and security efforts and is supported by international aid organizations.
The growing confidence of Raqqa’s people in their ability to return to normalcy “is palpable, and the coalition is proud to stand side by side with the RCC in supporting these efforts,” Jarrard said.
Coalition forces continue to train and support the Raqqa Internal Security Force as they ensure security and aid efforts that support citizens, task force officials said.