The first 3 foreign nationalities fighters die in the grand battle of Al-Raqqah inside the city
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of 3 non-Syrian fighter who were killed in shelling, explosions and clashes against the “Islamic State” organization alongside the Syria Democratic Forces in the grand battle of Al-Raqqah, the Syrian Observatory learned that the 3 fighters were British, American and Georgian nationals, and they were killed in the violent clashes in Al-Raqqah city during the past week, where these fighters are considered the first foreign-nationality fighters who were killed within the grand battle of Al-Raqqah, of which Syria Democratic Forces aim to control Al-Raqqah city and expel the organization out of it.
While the clashes continue between the Syria Democratic Forces and “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces against the “Islamic State” organization in the western part of the city, and at the outskirts of Hisham bin Abdul Malik neighborhood and in areas in the old city, amid exchange of shelling between both parties of the clash, while the “Islamic State” organization detonated 2 booby trapped vehicle targeting the Syria Democratic Forces in the western part of the city, the Syrian Observatory also documented the death of 4 other fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces in the past few days, the Syrian Observatory published this morning that the International Coalition warplanes escalated during the last 24 hours their strikes targeting ISIS-controlled areas in Al-Raqqah city and its countryside. The SOHR documented the death of around 30 ISIS members as a result of those airstrikes which accompanied the continued clashes between the Syria Democratic Forces and the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces on one hand and ISIS on the other in areas at the outskirts of Hisham Ben Abdel Malik neighborhood, south of Al-Raqqah city and in areas in the Old City and Bareed Al-Dar’eiyah neighborhood. This coincided with an exchange of targeting between both parties causing confirmed casualties at both sides.
Amid such clashes, the Manbij Military Council Forces and the SDF continued to fortify their positions and the areas under their control in Al-‘Ekirshi village, in fear of counter attacks by ISIS on the area in an attempt to regain control over it. The SOHR published that the Syria Democratic Forces and Manbij Military Council were able to impose their full control over al-Ekirshi town, which has previously witnessed the largest mass execution carried out by the organization against tens of its members in al-Ekirshi camp.
And with this advancement the Syria Democratic Forces have controlled more than 80 km from the southern banks of the Euphrates River, from al-Bu’aasi area in the western countryside of Al-Tabaqa city, until the east of al-Ekirshi village, which used to contain a Camp known as “Al-Sheikh Osama Ben Laden Camp” for training ISIS elements” where they carried out the largest mass execution of their own elements in the second half of 2015. The SOHR published then that a dissident Syrian ISIS commander informed it that ISIS executed more than 200 of its elements, of Chechen and Central Asian nationalities. That source, who is a former second-line commander in ISIS, confirmed that those elements were on the verge of dissenting from the organization and joining Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda in the Levant) when they got exposed by the security command of the organization. The dissidents, who tried to escape, were taken to Al-Ekirshi area where the camp is located in Al-Raqqah countryside and where the executed, then their bodies were dumped in Al-Houta area in Al-Raqqah countryside, where there is a natural hole that ISIS turned into a body dump since it took control of the area.