After 70 days of the start of the grand battle of Al-Raqqah… SDF supported by the International Coalition’s Special Forces control 57% of Al-Raqqah city
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the SDF supported by the US Special Forces, managed to control about 57 percent of the city of Al-Raqqah since the start of the grand battle of Al-Raqqah on the 5th of June 2017, this operation of advancement and control came after the SDF managed to advance in the Old City and take the control of two quarters at least in it after violent clashes against the “Islamic State” organization, clashes are still taking place between the both parties on the areas of Al-Bareed neighborhood and the West Daraa ( Dare’yah ) and other areas in the north-western outskirts of the Old City, amid the sound of separated explosions in the city of Al-Raqqah likely to be caused by exploding a booby trapped vehicle at least by the “Islamic State” organization, the clashes are also accompanied by continuous shelling targeting the clash areas, and information about more casualties in the ranks of the both parties.
And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published hours ago that Al-Raqqah Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: violent clashes continue between ISIS on one hand and the SDF backed by the US Special Forces and the International Coalition warplanes on the other in areas at the outskirts of Al-Dar’iyah and Al-Bareed neighborhoods in addition to the outskirts of Al-Rasheed and Al-Mansour neighborhoods in Al-Raqqah. Clashes also continue to take place in other areas at the northwestern outskirts of the Old City. The SOHR learned that the SDF managed to make a new advancement and to take control of at least two new alleys in the Old City, expanding its scope of control there. They now control more than %70 of the Old City area.
In the same context, the SOHR documented the death of at least 12 civilians, including a child at least, as a result of the airstrikes carried out by the International Coalition on areas in Al-Raqqah city yesterday. Thus, the civilian fatalities, documented by the SOHR in Al-Raqqah city and countryside since the 5th of June 2017 till today, the 14th of August, rose to 611, including one SOHR activist, 138 children and 85 women. Specifically, 579 civilians, including at least 133 children below the age of 18 and 80 women above the age of 18, were killed in Al-Raqqah city. In addition, 16 civilians, including 3 children and 4 women, died as a result of raids on Zour Shamr village and other area at the southern banks of the Euphrates in the eastern countryside of Al-Raqqah. Airstrikes also left hundreds of civilians injured, with varied degrees of severity, some of whom had their limbs amputated, some were left with permanent disabilities, and some are still in a critical condition. Thus, the death toll is still likely to rise. Moreover, tens of houses and public utilities were destroyed as a result of the intensive shelling that targeted the city its surroundings and outskirts. Information was reported about the fall of more martyrs among civilians but the SOHR could not document such cases.
On the other hand, the SOHR documented the death of at least 20 ISIS members yesterday as a result of shelling by the International Coalition warplanes, missile strikes and in clashes with the SDF in several areas in Al-Raqqah city. Thus, the number of fatalities among ISIS members documented by the SOHR since the start of the Grand Battle of Al-Raqqah on the 5th of August 2017 till today the 14th of June 2017 Raqqah rose to 735, including local commanders and group commanders. In addition, tens of others were injured, with varied degrees of severity.
The SOHR also documented the death of 11 members of the SDF during the past three days as a result of shelling and in clashes with ISIS in Al-Raqqah city. Thus,
casualties among the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces rose to 324, including 4 fighters of American, Georgian and British nationalities, who were killed in bombardments and bombings and during clashes with the “Islamic State” organization in the city of Al-Raqqah and the southern banks of the Euphrates since the start of the Grand Battle of Al-Raqqah on the 5th of June 2017 till today.
Meanwhile, Al-Raqqah city is still suffering from the lack of a lot of food items and significant decrease in others. Reliable sources confirmed the absence of vegetables and fruits in the city market in addition to the significant shortage in medicines and drinking water and their surging prices. Thus, the civilians still residing in Al-Raqqah depend mainly on grains, rice and legumes, which have been stored by the city citizens or the shops. Moreover, ISIS members are breaking into the shops and seizing its contents, especially clothes shops. In addition, the spirit of resentment is prevailing among the people of Al-Raqqah city because of the daily massacres perpetrated by the International Coalition, targeting civilians and the displaced who fled to the city, under the pretext of the existence of an ISIS sniper in a building or on top of another.