The Syria Democratic Forces control about 35% of Al-Raqqah city’s area
The grand battle of Al-Raqqah ended its 45th days heading towards its goal of controlling Al-Raqqah city, and expelling the “Islamic State” organization from its capital and main stronghold in Syria, the Syria Democratic Forces were able during this period to enter the city and control several of its neighborhoods and reach parts of some other neighborhoods, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the US Special Forces controlling the neighborhoods of al-Sabahiya and al-Romaniya completely in the western part of Al-Raqqah city, and also they took control of parts of the neighborhoods of Bareed al-Dar’eiyah, Qadisiyah, Hutteen and Yarmouk until reaching Nazlat Shhada west and southwest of the city, they also controlled parts of the Division 17th in the northern part of the city, while “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces took control of the neighborhoods of al-Mashlab, al-Sinaa and al-Batani completely, and entered the outskirts of the neighborhoods of the Rawda, Hisham bin Abdul Malik and Al Rumaila, and also took control of al-Hal Market.
The Syria Democratic Forces impose their control over 50% of the area of the Old City of Al-Raqqah, after going deep into several areas west of the Old City walls, also they were able to advance in other areas in the city, extending their control to about 35% of the area of Al-Raqqah city.
The daily clashes are accompanied by violent exchange of shelling between both parties, and by bombing by the International Coalition and shelling by “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces, and detonating booby trapped vehicles by the “Islamic State “organization, which caused destruction to the city’s infrastructure, and large destruction to hundreds of homes, shops, warehouses and public utilities.
The controlled areas of the Syria Democratic Forces and the forces of Manbij Military Council have also extended from the southern banks of the Euphrates River opposite to Al-Raqqah city until al-Ekirshi area southeast of the city.
This escalated bombardment one day after another as a result of the intense daily bombardment by the International Coalition have raised to 293 including an SOHR activist, the number of Syrian civilians whose death has been documented by the SOHR since the 5th of June 2017 until night of yesterday the 20th of July 2017. The casualties are 277 civilians included at least 47 children below the age of eighteen and 35 female citizens above eighteen were killed in Al-Raqqah city, and 16 civilians including 3 children and 4 women were killed in raids on Deir Shamar at the southern banks of Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Al-Raqqah . In addition, airstrikes left hundreds of civilians injured, with various degrees of severity, some of whom had their limbs amputated, some were left with permanent disabilities and some are still in a critical condition, which means that the death toll is still likely to rise. Moreover, the intensive shelling that targeted the city, its surroundings and outskirts destroyed tens of houses and public utilities.
Also since the start of the grand battle of Al-Raqqah until yesterday the 20th of July 2017, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of 416 ISIS members at least, including local commanders and group commanders, were killed as a result of the airstrikes carried out by the International Coalition warplanes, the intensive shelling on Al-Raqqah city and its outskirts, and the military operations carried out by the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces which consist of the Syria Democratic Forces and the Syrian Elite Forces backed by the US Special Forces with the support of the International Coalition warplanes. Confirmed information was also reported about the death of more members and the injury of tens of others.
While the SOHR documented during the same period the death of 192 fighters of the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces, including 2 the Syrian Elite Forces and 3 fighters (British, American and Georgian nationals), the rest are from the SDF, which are formed from fighters of YPG and Al-Manbij Military Council, who died in bombings, shelling and clashes with ISIS in Al-Raqqah city and at the southern banks of the Euphrates.