The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) shelled government troops retreating from areas in southwestern Raqqa with homegrown rockets containing nerve gas, a field reporter confirmed.
The Syrian Armed Forces withdrew from areas it controlled during a three-weeks military campaign aimed to recapture the ISIS bastion in al-Raqqa, raising questions about the effectivity of the offensive and the role played by Syria’s staunch ally; namely Russia.
A field reporter who was covering the offensive said the retreating troops were bombed with home-produced rockets filled with nerve gas. Dozens of soldiers were injured in the attack.
The Syrian Army posed less than 12km to the south of Tabqa Airbase before the weeks-long gains were overturned as ISIS jihadists launched a wide-scale counteroffensive, forcing the troops to retreat.
All the troops involved in Raqqa offensive have amassed in Athrya (nearly 100 km to the northeast of Hama). It remains unclear whether the forces will carry on the assault or be redeployed to another battleground.