With the difficulty of battles on ground… Coalition warplanes, Apache and ISIS drones step up their participation in Al-Raqqah battles
Displacement movement accompanies the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces’ enter to new neighborhoods and extend their control within Al-Raqqah city
Al-Raqqah city has been witnessing since the night of the 13th of July 2017 violent clashes between members of the “Islamic State” organization against the Syria Democratic forces supported by the US Special Forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the violent clashes are concentrated between both parties in the outskirts of Rumaila neighborhood northeast of Al-Raqqah city, where violent clashes are taking place at the outskirts of the neighborhood, while the Syria Democratic Forces were able to enter the outskirts of al-Rawda neighborhood after being able to control al-Batani neighbourhood completely which is adjacent to the neighborhoods of Rawda and Rumaila in the northwestern section of the city, these clashes coincide with violent clashes between the Syria Democratic Forces against members of the organization in the Old City, where “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces have failed to hold control of the new points and locations to which they advanced in the Old City, as a result of the intense sniper fire and the escalation of targeting by bomb-carrying drones, and due to intense mine-planting by the organization and its fortification of areas of its presence, which forced them to retreat from these points.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also learned that the clashes are taking place at a varying rate of violence between the Syria Democratic Forces and the “Islamic State” organization in the housing of Euphrates Basin in Al-Dar’eiyah area in the western part of Al-Raqqah city, while the Syria Democratic Forces continue their sweeping operations and securing the neighborhoods of al-Bareed and al-Qasyeh west of the city, while the “Islamic State” organization is carrying out counter-attacks on sites where Syria Democratic Forces had advanced to in Hisham Ibn Abdul Malik neighborhood, amid continuation of intense overflights of Apache helicopters in the sky of the city and it participation in the fight against the organization, with successive bombardment by International Coalition warplanes on sites controlled by of organization, amid continuation of arrival of military reinforcements to Al-Raqqah city, in preparation for the decisive battle, of which the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces are aiming to control the entire city of Al-Raqqah.
The fight operations in Al-Raqqah city between both parties of the clash are accompanied by the continuation of displacement movement of citizens from the “Islamic State” organization’s controlled areas to areas controlled by Syria Democratic Forces, after hundreds of civilians were able in the past 4 days to get out of the areas controlled by the “Islamic State” organization, to areas controlled by the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces west of Al-Raqqah city including children and women, and they managed to reach to areas controlled by the Syria Democratic Forces, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the number of civilians in the “Islamic State” organization’s controlled areas in the city is estimated by tens of thousands of children, women and men, who fell between the hammer of the bombing of the International Coalition and the military operations; and the anvil of the “Islamic State “organization, which takes them as a human shields, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on Wednesday 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.