BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:58 A.M.) – The ISIS terrorist group is fighting back against the US-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the southern and western areas of the city of Raqqah. Over the last week, the SDF attempt to advance into the central areas of Raqqah has slowed down almost to the point of a complete stall due to stiffening ISIS resistance.
On Sunday, at least 20 SDF fighters were killed by ISIS via sniper fire or the use of heavy weapons (i.e. recoilless rifles, an ISIS specialty). Also on Sunday, ISIS targeted an SDF rally point with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) destroying 4 vehicles.
At this point it is apparent that ISIS is using the same tactics as in Mosul, whereby they hide from Coalition airstrikes and then launch swift tactical counterattacks using small units of shock troops. Furthermore, it appears that battle for the city of Raqqah will now likely turn out to be a protracted engagement for the SDF as was the operation to take Manbij.