On October 1, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that it captured 4 new positions from ISIS in al-Ferdaws district in the center of Raqqa city.
The SDF killed 19 ISIS fighters during its advance, according to a SDF statement. The SDF also evacuated 15 civilians from ISIS-held areas in the city.
From its side, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq claimed that ISIS members killed 8 SDF fighters in Tell Abyad district. Amaq also claimed that ISIS snipers killed 4 other SDF fighters in al-Kahraba district in the center of the city also. An SDF commander was also killed with an IED planted by ISIS fighters in al-Kahraba district, according to Amaq.
Meanwhile, Amjad Siryani a local commander with the SDF’s Syriac Military Council told “Agence France-Presse” (AFP) that there are only two key position left under the ISIS control in Raqqa.
“We’re at the end of Raqa. There are two positions left: the stadium and the few surrounding buildings, and the national hospital,” said Siryani
According to Siryani, SDF fighters are less than 150 meters from ISIS-held national hospital where many ISIS fighters are hiding. However, the SDF can’t storm the hospital because of a high number of civilians there, according to Siryani.
“We are observing and waiting for the order to storm the hospital. If we see anyone coming out of it, they die … Once we take the hospital, it’s over. It’s important because there are a lot of IS fighters there, but the Americans cannot just bomb it,” Siryani told the AFP.
The Siryani statement prove that the SDF is mainly relying on heavy airstrikes by US-led collation warplanes in their advance.
Nice report with a stupid conclusion.
CAS is part of an advance in urban fighting but stating that without CAS there is no advance – as in are mainly relying on – is patently incorrect.
No boots on the ground, no advance. So bombing without infantry assaults is mainly useless.
SDF has other possiblities, like mining the place, but that has the same risks as having the place bombed or shelled (another option).
Starving them seems like the chosen way. I doubt that that will be effective as IS will eat before their human shields. This will end badly is my gut feeling here.