On Thursday, the Islamic State group captured the headquarters of Syria’s 17th Division, which is based in the surrounding area of Raqqa, as reported by Yahoo! News. The Islamic State group even posted a video online of their operation (See below). But that celebration was short lived.
According to Aljazeera, activists have reported that Syrian jets have pounded Raqqa with over two dozen air strikes. The undeclared truce between the government and Islamic State group that had control of the city is obviously no longer in effect.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported to Aljazeera that the air strikes on Sunday hit “Islamic State buildings, including the military court and bases in the city.” During that attack, the Syrian Observatory stated that “at least 31 fighters from the Islamic State were killed and dozens wounded” in those attacks on Sunday.
Both the Raqqa Media Centre and the Observatory have reported more “intense air raids for the second day on Raqqa’s provincial capital.” As the Syrian jets continued to hammer down on the positions of the Islamic State group in northern Raqqa, the self-proclaimed jihadists focused on capturing the last army base in that region, according to Aljazeera.
As a result, the Syrian Observatory continue to report what they call “intense clashes” on Monday between troops and Islamic State fighters with casualties rising on both sides.
While government forces have refrained from targeting the Islamic State group (ISIL) in the past, Thursday’s events changed all that. A Raqqa resident, remaining anonymous fearing his safety, stated that the Syrian jets “stepped up their bombardment five days ago.” He went on to say that “about 30 percent of the strikes hit the Islamic State positions, the rest hit civilian areas,” as reported by Yahoo! News.
Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president has been giving the impression for quite some time that the uprising in Syria has been a foreign-backed conspiracy and al-Assad’s enemies say that he has allowed the Islamic State to grow in order to promote that idea.
Although the exact numbers cannot be verified, the Syrian Observatory says more than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria’s civil war, while the UN stopped counting at 100,000 over a year ago.
Photo Credit: Aljazeera.com