Media sources in Raqqa have reported to Al-Hal Al-Suri that the Islamic State group has successfully repulsed attempts by Syrian and pro-Assad forces to advance on the group’s stronghold in eastern Syria.
ISIS militants “expelled fighters of the regime army and loyalist militias from the entire administrative border of Raqqa province after a number of attacks throughout the past days,” the sources said.
Mohamed al-Sallah, the spokesman for the Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered campaign, said that “ISIS has retaken control of all the areas it lost in battles with the Syrian regime southwest of Raqqa city and has forced its fighters to withdraw to the borders of Athariya in the eastern Hama countryside.” The reports were denied by loyalist sources.
A loyalist source, who asked not to be named, said that “The Syrian forces withdrew yesterday to previous positions, but they are still close to the al-Rasafa/al-Tabqa crossroads, and the current withdrawal is temporary. Its reason was the increase in tempo of car bomb attacks.”
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “ISIS carried out a heavy attack on positions of the regime forces, Saqour al-Sahara, and loyalist fighters in the area of the al-Rasafa/al-Tabqa/Athariya crossroads and its environs in the southern and southwestern al-Tabqa countryside. The regime was forced to withdraw inside the administrative borders of Hama province, and were pushed to about 40 kilometers from the al-Tabqa airbase (after they were only seven kilometers away).”
The Syrian regime had started a military campaign from Athariya toward Raqqa on June 3.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.