ISIS appears to be making a comeback in Syrian governorate of Raqqa which is divided between the Damascus government and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
On May 21, leaflets distributed by the terrorist group’s cells were found in the SDF-held towns of al-Karamah and al-Mansurah in the eastern and southwestern countryside of Raqqa.
— الخابور (@alkhabour21) May 21, 2021
In the leaflets, ISIS called on the locals to pull their sons from the ranks of the Kurdish-led group. The terrorist group also threatened the SDF fighters.
“We warn you against cooperating with the atheists, or following them or approaching their headquarters and checkpoints,” a statement in the leaflets reads. “And you, atheist Kurds and your affiliated commanders, soldiers, agents, informants and tribal elders, by the name of God we are prepared and the news are what you see not what you hear.”
ISIS cells have been active in the SDF-held part of Raqqa, eather in the southern countryside which is controlled by Syrian government forces.
On May 22, there pro-government fighters were killed in Ma’adan desert when they were struck by an improvised explosive device (IED), according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The IED was planted by ISIS cells.
Over the last year, ISIS terrorists expanded their influence from their stronghold in central Syria, the Homs desert, to southern Syria.
ISIS reemergence in Raqqa is a direct result of the lack of any meaningful coordination between government forces and the SDF. This situation will not likely change any time soon.
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