Clashes continue between SDF and ISIS in Al-Raqqah city
Al-Raqqah Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the violent clashes continue at the outskirts of Rumaila neighborhood in Al-Raqqah city, between members of the “Islamic State” organization against the Syria Democratic Forces, accompanied by the continued aerial bombardment by warplanes of the International Coalition on areas in the city; as well as the continued rocket shelling by the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces, and information about more casualties in the ranks of both parties, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published yesterday that reliable sources asserted to the SOHR that the number of members of ISIS is dramatically decreasing and the number of remained ISIS members estimated to be 300 to 400 fighters in the city, after the deaths of hundreds of members in the past few weeks, where the organization could no longer withstand in Al-Raqqah city because its stockpile of military equipment and weapons started running out as well as its stored food items, where sources of the Observatory confirmed that the organization sometimes carries out infiltrations into sites of the Syria Democratic Forces in order to get water or food, also the sources informed the Syrian Observatory that what is delaying the control of “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces of Al-Raqqah city is the density of the mines planted by the “Islamic State” organization, and because the decision of International Coalition to take control of the city was delayed, in addition to that there are thousands of civilians who are being used as human shields by the organization, and if the Syria Democratic Forces and the International Coalition take the decision of controlling Al-Raqqah city, then, the Grand Raqqah Operation may be completed in the coming days and weeks.
While the sources said that the members of the organization blow themselves up even before the arrival of the SDF and the US Special Forces to the areas close to them, and the people attributed this to the psychological conditions and the pressure they suffer due to the tightening up on them and because there is no way out of this city, where the Syria Democratic Forces are now in control of 67.2% of Al-Raqqah city, and now the organization controls less than one-third of the city, as it controls Andalos, Shamal Sekket al-Qitar, Huriyah, Teshreen and Tawassoiya in the northern part of Raqqa city, while ISIS still controls with varying percentages other neighborhoods, where clashes between the SDF against ISIS are taking place, they are al-Bareed and al-Nahda in the western part of the city, and the neighborhoods of al-Amin in the center of the city of Raqqa, and al-Rawda and al-Rumaila northeast of Raqqa city, while the SDF controlled the neighborhoods of Sabahiya, Romaniya, Hutteen, Qadisiyah, Yarmouk, and al-Karim west of Raqqa city, the neighborhoods of Hisham Abdul Malik, Nazlat Shhada in the southern part of the city, and al-Sena’aa, al-Mashlab and the Old City and al-Batani in the eastern part of the city, and the neighborhoods of Dar’eiyah, Morur, al-Mansour and al-Thakanah. The SDF also reached the outskirts of the neighborhoods of al-Amin and controlled parts of the neighborhoods of Rumila, Rawda, Bareed and al-Nahda.
The battles in al-Raqqah city between the SDF backed by the US Special Forces against ISIS caused more causalities among civilians, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of 1059 citizens including an activist in the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 247 children and 176 citizen women, they were killed in Al-Raqqah city and its countryside since the 5th of June 2017 until the 17th of September 2017, and the casualties are 1043 citizens including 244 children at least under the age of eighteen and 172 citizen women over the age of eighteen, they were killed in Al-Raqqah city, in addition to 16 citizens including 3 children and 4 citizen women were killed by raids on Zor Shammar village and another area on the southern banks of the Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Al-Raqqah, the air strikes also resulted in the injury of hundreds of citizens with varying degrees of severity, some of them have amputated limbs and permanent disabilities, while some of the injuries are still in serious cases, which may lead to the increase of the number of casualties, while dozens of houses and service facilities were destroyed in the city, as a result of this intensive bombing, which targeted Al-Raqqah city and its vicinity and outskirts.