DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:30 P.M.) – Beginning at dusk, ISIS began a localized counter-attack in rural Raqqa to retake turf captured by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) over the past week.
Spearheaded by a couple of suicide bombers, Islamic State forces deployed the bulk of their military power east of Raqqa on Saturday and managed to retake lost positions on the outskirts of Raqqat as Samra town.
However, the predominately Kurdish SDF scored bigger gains of their own over the past 48 hours, liberating the nearby villages of Hamrat Buwaytiyah and Hamrat Ghanam.
In addition, YPG contingents based around Tabqa began an eastward push towards the provincial capital, resulting in heavy clashes at Hunaydah, a town located on the M4 highway.
At the moment, SDF forward units are less than four kilometers from Raqqa’s eastern neighborhoods where an estimated 4,000 ISIS insurgents are stationed. The next stage of the Euphrates Wrath offensive nevertheless looks to fully encircle Raqqa city before the battle for the city itself.
A full map of the region can be found here.