As the warplanes of the international coalition and the Apache helicopters kept flying, the violent clashes are still taking place in the former main stronghold of ISIS in Syria, where each party is trying to advance at the expense of the other in the city, whose infrastructure is destroyed by the shelling, and the humanitarian conditions have become disastrous in the city, amid the presence of thousands of civilians in the organization-held area in the center of Raqqa city and its northern neighborhoods, and the SOHR learned that the violent clashes, which are taking place between the SDF against members of the “Islamic State” organization in al-Busariyah alley remained unliberated in the old city and in the vicinity of the center of the city, allowed the SDF backed by the US Special Forces to advance and control al-Busariyah alley and fully controlled the old city, in which the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces started their first attacks at its gates on the 15th of June 2017, where the SDF are trying to achieve more advancement and reach the center of the city in order to expand its areas of control and tighten the noose on the organization inside the city, while the clashes are accompanied by continued shelling by the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces and aerial bombardment by the international coalitions warplanes on areas in the city.
It should be noted that the SDF had taken control of 90% of the Old City area on the 29th of August 2017. The remaining area is witnessing violent fighting in an attempt by the SDF to take full control of the Old City. The SOHR also learned that violent clashes continue to take place between both parties in Al-Morour neighborhood after the SDF managed to take control of about half of its area yesterday. Clashes also continue in Al-Dar’iyah neighborhood into which the regime forces advanced and managed to take control of its southern part. In addition, clashes, with a varied pace of violence, continue in Al-Ameen neighborhood in Al-Raqqah city center.
Continued clashes in ISIS previous stronghold are accompanied by shelling, with a varied pace of violence, by the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces and the International Coalition warplanes on ISIS-controlled areas in the city in which thousands of civilians are suffering from deteriorating humanitarian conditions. Meanwhile, people’s resentment towards ISIS is increasing as a result of the accusations it made against them of “inaction and espionage” in addition to the fact that it escalated its security operations and executions of anyone proved to have any contact with the International Coalition or the SDF. Meanwhile, hundreds of civilians are trying to flee ISIS-controlled areas to SDF-controlled areas in search for a safe haven from the continued shelling on the city and from the rule of ISIS. Casualties were reported at both sides as a result of the ongoing clashes in the city.
The continued fighting divided the fronts in the city between two parties. On one hand, the SDF have managed to take control of 62.3% of Al-Raqqah city since the start of the Grand Battle of Al-Raqqah on the 6th of June 2017. On the other hand, ISIS scope of control minimized as it only has control over the neighborhoods of Al-Andalus and north of Seket Al-Qitar, Al-Horiyah, Tshreen, Al-Tawsi’iyah in the northern section of Al-Raqqah city. In addition, ISIS still controls parts of other neighborhoods which witness clashes between the SDF and ISIS. These areas include the neighborhoods of Al-Bareed, Al-Nahdaa and Al-Dar’iyah in the western section of the city, the outskirts of Al-Mansour and Al-Ameen and Al-Morour and Al-Thakana neighborhoods in the city center in addition to Al-Rawda and Al-Ramliyah in the northeast part of Al-Raqqah. On the other hand, the SDF managed to take control of the neighborhoods of Al-Sabahiyah, Al-Romaniyah, Heteen, Al-Qadisiyah, Al-Yarmouk and Al-Karim, west of Al-Raqqah, the neighborhoods of Hisham Bin AbdelMalik and Nazlet Shehada in the southern section of the city, the neighborhoods of Al-Sinaa and Mashalb and 90% of the Old City, and Al-Batani in the eastern part of the city in addition to Al-Mansour neighborhood. They also managed to take control of about half of Al-Dar’iyah and Al-Morour neighborhoods and to reach the outskirts of Al-Ameen and Al-Thakana neighborhoods. Moreover, they took control of parts of Al-Ramliyah, Al-Rawda, Al-Bareed and Al-Nahda.