US-backed Forces Are In 4 km From Gates Of Raqqah (Photos, Map)

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US-backed Forces Are In 4 km From Gates Of Raqqah (Photos, Map)

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The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition’s air power, artillery and military advisers, captured the cotton fields and the cotton company northeast of Raqqah, deploying in just 4 km from the gates to the ISIS-held city.

US-backed Forces Are In 4 km From Gates Of Raqqah (Photos, Map)

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The SDF has also captured the village of Al-Nasr in the northwestern Raqqa countryside after heavy clashes with ISIS fighters. Now, the SDF is advancing on the 17th Division base.

US-backed Forces Are In 4 km From Gates Of Raqqah (Photos, Map)

Click to see the full-size image

 

Meanwhile, 2000 civilians have reportedly left the city of Raqqa to the SDF-held areas. A majority of the shops in Raqqah is closed because of the expected start of the storm of Raqqah.

Local sources reported that ISIS had executed two civilians in the Al-Barazi roundabout and in the Clock Square. ISIS ordered shop owners in the Al-Hal market to evacuate it completely within two days. It’s believed that ISIS wants to build fortifications and to plant IEDs inside it.

According to opposition sources, six civilians have been killed in the village of Ba’arf in the western Raqqa countryside as a result of shelling by US Marines artillery. The village of Saqqoura in the western Raqqa countryside was also shelled by the US Marines and the SDF.

The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq published photos of an ISIS armed drone targeting two vehicles belonging to the SDF east of Raqqah.

US-backed Forces Are In 4 km From Gates Of Raqqah (Photos, Map)

Click to see the full-size image

US-backed Forces Are In 4 km From Gates Of Raqqah (Photos, Map)

Click to see the full-size image

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  • dutchnational

    The SDF getting very close to Raqqah is, at this moment, not the start of a general assault on Raqqah city.

    The noose must be tightened much closer in other areas, to restrict freedom of movement to IS fighters.

    New and heavier weapons are being supplied to SDF. They need some time to digest them too.

    Meanwhile, SDF is increasing its numbers rapidly. Both the arab component and the YPJ are the fastests growing parts of the SDF.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      no lack of menpower

      assad is weak

      • dutchnational

        SDF seems to be much more successfull in recruiting new members, all volonteers, then the SAA, suffering from chronic manpower shortages.

        Maybe fighting for an idea, an ideal, has more pull than fighting because of being forced to fight or just fight for money.

        There has not been much mention of the HXP, the conscript army of the Northern Syrian Federal Region. As far as I know, they number anywhere between 10 to 25.000 and potentially in the future up to 75 to 100.000.

        Though in theory only locally operating, they started to show in the Raqqah offensive.

        • Solomon Krupacek

          and this recruiting rate is from 1/3 of population compared to assads

          • Jens Holm

            Well, thats not comparable at all. It might be in coffins.

        • Jens Holm

          I think there has been a regular change in attitude and kurds has gained respect. There are no rumors of rapes, killings, thefts – even much of that can be hidden.

          I also think it means a lot, that civile Counsils and You have to and are able to things Yourself not needing some in Damaskus or Bagdad to tell You.

          And Yes, SDF are taking new areas and also put pressure one make demans: Do You want ISIS to come in and You just run and cant do anything. Some places they old and old woman has got also old or light weapons. At least those nasty ISIs people can expect something.

          The new taken areas has also tryed ISIS in stead of Assads. Im sure not many there has ever been impressed by Assads.

          Im can speak for the future, but Im sure that until ISIS is gone, the SDF will grow. After that I dont know. Many or some has only promised to defend themselves locally.

          But I have some hope. One could be the Yellow zone of today got much selfrule of a kind and some many refugees could come back, because its prepared for them. But kurds will be a minority, but have power in the civile counsils.

          I would like so manyh came back, and they made elections.

        • Jonathan Cohen

          Those who say SDF is intentionally pushing ISIS at Dier Ezzor have a point. Surrounding them would involve advances East from Tabqa and/or crossing the river farther East. Advances from the North don’t help cut the city off, so I don’t see why they bother.

          • dutchnational

            Pushing south towards the Euphrates direction DeZ would give the SDF a natural border against the south. Were SAA to take the south, they would have to cross the river to get to the SDF, something for which they are not, as of now, equipped.

            The SDF does not have this problem as they already control two, soon three, dams over the river, which are, or will be, all heavily fortified. All bridges are destroyed.

            As for SDF taking DeZ, I agree, there is not much point for the YPG part of the SDF. The arab part might have other ideas. It would largely depend, I think, on the ability of the SAA to hold out against IS in the city.

  • PZIVJ

    Good to see SDF taking area north of Raqqa quickly.
    Let’s hope that ISUS is suffering from a manpower crisis.
    Pix above shows a ribbon tied to the UAV bomblet.
    Good luck hitting anything from that height !!! (1 in a 1000 chance?)
    Perhaps next they should attach a small Daesh flag for better PR news.
    I’m waiting to see more hits via photo shop.

    • Jens Holm

      Well, I think ISIS has got a very good and reliable invension for the future. The helicopter models can play “mini barrel bombs” and hit more accurate.

      So far I think there is nothing to laugh about. If You can come silent to the enemy and find and destroy cars, fuel and other things its good buisness.

      It could be photoshop, but it has potential.