Russia Trained-and-armed clan forces support the regime forces in their advancement operations in Al-Raqqah province and towards Deir Ezzor
Al-Raqqah Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the collapses of the “Islamic State” organization comes consecutively, and it started to lose its controlled areas one after another, from villages to hills down to the wells and oil fields, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the continuation of clashes between the regime forces supported by their loyal gunmen of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities against members of the “Islamic State” organization, in areas in the southeastern countryside of Al-Raqqah, the regime forces were able to achieve a new advancement near it starting from the last city controlled the “Islamic State” organization in Al-Raqqah Province, Madan city, which is located on the southern banks of the Euphrates River in the far eastern countryside of Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the regime forces have become about 6 km away from city, also this advancement put them closer to the administrative border of Al-Raqqah Province with the northwestern countryside of Deir Ezzor, where they have become about 6 km away from this administrative borders, the clashes are accompanied by intensive shelling by the regime forces and by bombardment by warplanes on the “Islamic State” organization’s controlled areas as well as the clash areas.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published today that This advancement for the regime forces and the gunmen loyal to them in the countryside of Al-Raqqah province, have started on the 6th June 2017, the date when the regime forces supported by the Lebanese Hezbollah and led by tiger groups were able to advance and enter the administrative borders of Al-Raqqah, until the regime forces were able to reach and control of the town of Al-Resafa and then control the entire western section of the southern countryside of Al-Raqqah, then they advanced east; they advanced in 2 main areas: the first one is towards the southern banks of the Euphrates and the road of Al-Raqqah – Deir Ezzor, of which they managed to reach in Hwyjet Shnan area during the last 48 hours, and the second one was towards the administrative borders of Al-Raqqah Province with the northwestern countryside of Deir Ezzor, where the regime forces have become about 9 km away of these border, which is the nearest distance the regime forces reached to Deir Ezzor border from Al-Raqqah area, where this advancement draws the new frontier of influence between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them supported by Russia and between the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the International Coalition, which coincided with a change monitored by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, through the exchange of roles between the Coalition and the Russians, where the forces of International Coalition have halted their raids on the eastern countryside of Raqqa and parts of the northwestern countryside of Deir Ezzor, to be replaced by the Russian warplanes which have carried out tens of air raids targeting villages under the control the “Islamic State” organization in the southern bank of the Euphrates river, which extend from the east of Hwijat Shnan until the border with Deir Ezzor, since the 18th of July 2017, these raids have caused a massive displacement of tens of civilian families who were forced to flee as a result of the intensity of bombing and the constant destruction in the areas, under the pretext of “fighting the Islamic State organization”
Also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored regime forces’ attempt to advance in two areas, both of which are starting from Rajm al-Sleiman farms area; where the first one headed towards the village of Ghanim al-Ali, which will make easy for the regime forces to control 6 villages and farms at least if they force the “Islamic State” organization to withdraw from the area before besieging it completely, and the second area is to go towards Madan city which is the only city remaining fully under the control of the “Islamic State “organization of the all the Raqqah province, which is more than 19616 square kilometers, where the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the US Special Forces and the International Coalition control 67.90% of the geography of Al-Raqqah province, which is more than 13300 square kilometers, while the regime forces control 22.54% of the province which is about 4450 square kilometers, while the “Islamic State” organization still in control of 9.56% of the area of Al-Raqqah province, which is more than 1875 square kilometers, while it used to control it completely in late 2014 and early 2015.
The violent and continuous clashes, aerial bombardment, intensive artillery and explosions between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against members of the “Islamic State” organization, have caused more human losses, where the death toll of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities rose to 91 at least, including 14 officers with different ranks, in addition to the killing of at least 68 members of the organization, also tens of others of both parties were injured.