“Islamic State” organization intensifies counter-attacks in its stronghold in Syria, and SDF advances slowly within neighborhoods of Al-Raqqah city after the killing of 560 fighters
Violent clashes continue between the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the US Special Forces and warplanes of the International Coalition on one hand and organization of the “Islamic State” on the other in the city of Raqqa, which is considered the capital of the “Islamic State” Organization and its main stronghold in Syria, with the continuation of the grand battle of al-Raqqah for the 45 consecutive day.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the contact areas are witnessing continuous counter attacks by groups of the “Islamic State” organization. The attacks are concentrated in the Old City, and in the neighborhoods located in the western part of Al-Raqqa city and in Hisham Bin Abdul Malik neighborhood located in the southern part of the city.
The Syrian Observatory also observed a slow advance of Syria Democratic Forces in the Hisham Bin Abdul Malik neighborhood south of the city. These forces are seeking to advances more in the neighborhoods which they have entered and have not fully controlled yet, in order to reduce the size of areas controlled by the “Islamic State” organization and to clamp down more on the organization. The slow advance comes as result of the intensity of the planted mines and also due to the intense deployment of the organization’s snipers. The organization is also trying to prevent “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces from going deep in the city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented casualties of at least 391 members of the “Islamic State” organization, including local leaders and group leaders, and confirmed information of the death of other members, in addition to the injury of dozens due to airstrikes by the international coalition, the intensive shelling on the city of Al-Raqqa and its outskirts, the military operations in the city and clashes against “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces supported by warplanes of the international coalition since the grand battle of Al-Raqqah started until today the 20th of July 2017.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also documented casualties of 169 fighters of “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces including two rebels of the Syrian Elite Forces, three fighters of American, Georgian and British nationalities. The rest are fighters of SDF of which YPG are its mainstay, and fighters Manbij Military Council, who were killed in the explosions, bombings and clashes against the organization of “Islamic State” in the city of Al-Raqqa and the southern banks of the Euphrates River.