Military Situation In Raqqah Countryside On May 15, 2017 (Map Update)

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The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advanced further against ISIS terrorists in the province of Raqqah, capturing the villages of Atshana, al-Malali, Abu Khabret al-Rachid, Mazrat al-Ansar, Khirbat al-Khan and reaching an abadoned military base north of the ISIS self-proclaimed capital.

Thus, SDF units deployed in about 4 km from the entrance to the city. If the base is captured, it will be a start of clashes in the vicinity of Raqqah and will mark a preparation for the first phase of its storm.

Military Situation In Raqqah Countryside On May 15, 2017 (Map Update)

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  • Barba_Papa

    Considering that the battle for Mosul has been going on for like what, 6 months now? And that it took the Kurds also about a month to take the much smaller and less important Manbij? And that they don’t have the heavy weapons that the Iraqi army has, how many months do we think that it will take the Kurds to take this city from ISIS?

    • abuqahwa

      Manbij is probably more important strategically to the YPG/YPJ Kurds than Raqqah, hence the slow, methodical, casualty-averse operation.

      • Barba_Papa

        True, but I doubt that the YPG is going to throw away its troops trying to take a city, which in the end is more symbolic then strategic value. Which means that at least half a year to take Raqqa is within the realm of possibilities.

    • dutchnational

      Part of the abscence of heavy weapons will be compensated by the US, supplying air cover and artillery.

      Part will be compensated by new arms for SDF.

      SDF has much smaller numbers. On the other hand, the SDF is under unified command and has ever had a much higher fighting spirit then the Iraqis.

      It is difficult to predict how it will all play out

      Likely, it will take the SDF at least some three months..

      • Barba_Papa

        But the US supplies the same air cover and artillery assets as at Mosul, so no compensation there. And even with additional US weapons supplies the YPG still lacks the heavy weaponry of the Iraqi army. Which leaves them, which I agree, with higher fighting spirit.

        Considering that the YPG has been inching towards Raqqa for two months now I wouldn’t be surprised if this campaign were to last at least just as long as Mosul. With the caveat that ISIS might pull a surprise on everyone and abandon the city, leaving only a rearguard delaying force. I wouldn’t put it past them.

        • Douglas Houck

          Without Iraqi/Syrian help it will take the SDF a long time to take Raqqa. Fighting spirit without tanks doesn’t get you very far, especially if ISIS is going to make this their last stand. May have to starve them out.

        • dutchnational

          Correct, but do not forget, the Iraqis took some three months to reach Mosul too before they could attacks east Mosul.

          The fight in the city is now already some 8 months or more, first east and now west Mosul. At least Raqqah has the advantage there is no river in the city, only south of the city, which makes encircling it easier.

          Furthermore, I have the maybe incorrect impression there is closer air coordination between SDF and USAF than between Iraqi forces and USAF.

        • Dustil schmit

          Mosul is 4 times bigger then Raqqa.

  • abuqahwa

    Tiresome to repeat but the SITMAP still needs correcting in SE corner, the MSR (N4) does NOT follow the Euphrates around the bend to the south but rather runs in a direct line from Ma’din al Jadid to Al
    Tibni, ( 25 air km) thus bypassing the basalt high ground and narrow channel (the “strangle”).
    AFAIK there is no Al-Kibar Military Base at the location marked on the map. A
    simple scan of any SatMap or syriancivilwar map will confirm this.