DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:30 P.M.) – Contrary to reports of halting stage five of the Euphrates Wrath offensive, the predominately Kurdish ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) intensified their counter-insurgency efforts against ISIS militants on Wednesday.
On the southeastern axis of Raqqa city, the SDF – heavily backed by US warplanes, covering fire and artillery support – seized a large tunnel network from ISIS in the Hisham Abdul Malik neighborhood while two car bombs were recovered intact.
Meanwhile, 9 jihadist belligerents were killed in the Nazla Shahada neighborhood, adding to the 32 ISIS members killed in Raqqa city yesterday. In this southwestern district neighboring the M6-highway, the SDF also secured dozens of building blocks today, including the state hotel.
Amid this week’s progress, large quantities of armaments have been captured by the SDF across several neighborhoods while over 500 residents have escaped ISIS-held quarters.
On the other hand, Amaq Agency released footage of ISIS fighting back against the Kurds:
Complicating matters for US allies in Raqqa remains the fact that Raqqa is a predominately Arab city with a tiny Kurdish minority. Effectively, many locals have taken up arms against the Kurdish-led fighting force which some see as an invasion force.
Some 2,000 ISIS militants are estimated to be bogged down in Raqqa city at the moment, ready to fight to the death despite an ongoing siege.
Click here for a full interactive battle map of Raqqa and Syria.