DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:30 P.M.) – On Sunday around noon, the Islamic State mounted a stunning localised counter-attack that saw jihadist militants retake the Division 17 Army Base and nearby Sugar Factory, two important sites which the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) otherwise overran earlier this week.
The ISIS attack was led by at least one suicide bombing and occured before the SDF managed to fortify the strategic army base, the capture of which serves to safeguard the northern neighborhoods of Raqqa city for the Islamic State.
In the aftermath of the ISIS counter-attack, 23 SDF militants lay dead inside the military base while two Kurdish combattants were captured alive and remain in ISIS captivity.
Fierce firefights are now taking place on the northern perimeter of the Division 17 Army Base as dozens of ISIS militants are rushing from Raqqa city to reinforce the army base. In response, the US Air Force has intensified its sorties on this axis.
Meanwhile, Amaq Agency said 33 civilians had been killed by SDF shelling and US airstrikes on Raqqa city. An additional 25 people were injured, the ISIS outlet claimed.