Radio Yerevan: Your Report on the Battle of Raqqa
Currently, the Battle for Raqqa has been going on 12 days. The prevailing fighters are from the Syrian Democratic Force, a multi-ethnic, multi-religion militia ran mostly by the YPG. The Rojava self-defense forces are also present along with the CJTF coalition and the Russian AF, who is running supporting operations and attacking targets from the air.
The battle began on the dawn of June 6th launched by the SDF, from the North, East and West which was supported by US airstrikes in an attempt to soften up targets held by ISIS. by the end of the 6th, the SDF had managed to capture both the village of Al-Jazra, and half of the Mashlab district. They then began to attack the Andalus district of Raqqa, located in the northwest. Progressing forward into the seventh the SDF began to attack and eventually captured a fortress located on the edge of the city which also allowed them to capture the Tell Harqal district of Raqqa.
The SDF proceeded to occupy the abandoned base of the Syrian Army 17th reserve infantry division along with the Syrian 18th armored division are responsible for the defense of Raqqa. The SDF was forced to make a hasty retreat however as they found themselves under heavy attack from the ISIS units who had taken up positions nearby. That night apparently a number of civilians were killed by US-led coalition aircraft who bombed the city once again to help the SDF. The SDF, with help of what is assumed to be US special forces, captures the rest of the Mashlab district in a few hours and then afterward enters the Sabahiyah neighborhood from the west.
On June 10th, The SDF entered the Roman suburb of Raqqa and got caught up in heavy firefights with remaining ISIS militants. During this time, however, they reinforced their positions in the western half of the Sabahiyah district. By the end of the 10th, the SDF had managed to take over the Harqaliya Suburb completely pushing out the remaining ISIS militants. That very same night, the US coalition “apparently” used white phosphorus munitions in the district when there were still civilians present. A spokesperson from the Pentagon didn’t confirm or deny the use of WP, however.
By the next day June 11th the SDF pushed deeper into the city capturing wide parts of the Roman neighborhood and pushed into the Al-Sinaa neighborhood and Al-Hal Market, both of which are near the Euphrates River, a strategic position for all players in the conflict. However, despite their success ISIS fought back and attacked a sugar factory the SDF captured three days prior located in the northern portion of Raqqa.
On the 12th of June SDF forces began to capture both the Hattin and Sinnaa neighborhoods along with the Sinnaa industrial zone. SDF forces also captured the Sahil village however they quickly became locked in a clash with ISIS until the next morning before finally pushing them out of the village. On the 14th the SDF yet again entered another neighborhood named Al-Berid and as of the 17th are still fighting ISIS there.
In other news
- “Several” CTJF coalition troops were wounding in a VBIED attack in the Al-Sinaa neighborhood during clearing operations.
- Iran has used their Zolfaghar missiles during the battle of Raqqa, which apparently have a “700 km” range.
- Seven US Navy sailors died in a ship collision accident aboard the USS Fitzgerald.
- A Syrian AF operated Su-22 was shot down by a US AF F18. This will most likely further complicate relations between Russia and the United States.