DAMASCUS, SYRIA (0:30 A.M.) – With thousands of Russian-manufactured SPG-9 rocket launchers surviving various wars across the globe, many have since been funnelled to the Syrian battlefield through the black market only to end up in the hands of jihadist groups such as ISIS, Ahrar Al-Sham and Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.
Despite facing a month-long full-blown siege, the Islamic State still holds a large SPG-9 arsenal in Raqqa city, boasting its use in many batches of images released by Amaq Agency.
In its latest edition, Amaq showed this weapon being deployed in Raqqa’s southwestern suburbs where the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized the Yarmouk neighborhood not long ago:
Relying increasingly upon American airstrikes, the SDF’s Euphrates Wrath offensive has slowed down in recent days (zero gains in 48 hours) after heavy casualties were endured due to ISIS’ sniper nests, booby traps, suicide bombers and rocket launchers.
With the offensive somewhat stalled, ISIS militants have regrouped and established a new defensive line to avoid the SDF from marching on Raqqa’s city centre.