On September 20, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC) captured 12km of the highway to al-Suwar town in the northeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to Kurdish sources.
Thus, the SDF is shifting its offensive away from Deir Ezzor city towards the administrative border with al-Hasakah governorate. However, it’s very unlikely that SDF will stop its advance on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
Meanwhile in Raqqa city, US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon spokesman for the US-led collation announced that the SDF has captured 40 blocks in Raqqa city over the last 24 hours. Colonel Dillon also announced that 65-70% of the city is under the SDF control.
It’s interesting to note that in a separate statement the SDF has claimed that 80% of Raqqa is under its control.
Furthermore, Syrian opposition sources claimed that clashes are still ongoing between ISIS and SDF fighters around the al-Fardous mosque, the al-Saha housing complex and the national hospital in the center of the city.
Syrian opposition sources also claimed that US-led collation warplanes have conducted over 162 airstrikes on Raqqa city over the last 3 days.
Reports added that US B-52 bombers struck ISIS fortifications in the 17th Division supporting the SDF attack on it on September 19.
The intense US-led collation bombing on Raqqa city clearly shows that the US-led coalition is in hurry to end the Raqqa battle. The coalition is likely planning to redeploy SDF units from Raqqa city to Deir Ezzor governorate frontlines to block the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) advance.
ISIS members are in Raqqa: