“None of the military or non-military members of the ISIL in Raqqa can apply for over a week of vocation, the number of checkpoints and guarding shifts have been increased across the city, operations for digging tunnels and underground hideouts have been accelerated, internet connection in some districts has been banned and most of the command centers of the terrorist group have been transferred to the underground hideouts,” the sources said, adding, “Over 10 reconnaissance flights over Raqqa’s airspace per day have made the ISIL commanders confused and angry.”
Sources said last week that reports about the imminent operations of the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies to liberate the terrorist-held city of Raqqa caused the ISIL leaders to declare state of emergency in the city.
“As soon as the Russian envoy in the UN announced preparation of the Syrian Army and its popular allies to launch large-scale operations to liberate Raqqa and end ISIL siege of Deir Ezzur, the ISIL terrorists started covering their military vehicles and equipment in order not to be identified in case of any airstrike,” the sources said.
“The ISIL, meantime, has relocated scores of its forces and has transferred them to new hideouts without any flag of the group,” they added.
“The ISIL has built several underground hideouts for such days and has divided the hideouts between the Syrian and non-Syrian commanders,” the sources went on to say.
“The underground hideouts are equipped with the depots of foodstuff, weapons and ammunition and enjoy drinking water and electricity,” the sources said, adding, “The city of Raqqa enjoys radar and alarming systems to inform the group’s members to move to the underground hideouts in the time of air attacks.”
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Spokesman Tajir Kobani announced at the time that commanders of the SDF-affiliated groups in Northern Syria have, in a secret meeting, coordinated the process of a joint final operation for liberating Raqqa from the ISIL terrorists.
“Our troops with their heavy weapons have been gathered near Kobani in Northern Syrian,” the spokesman said, adding, “We will begin our operation from three directions simultaneously.”
“The SDF will make a push for the city from the recently liberated Tishrin dam Northwest of Raqqa, and from two more directions of Tal Abyadh and Hasaka Northeast of Raqqa,” Kobani went on to say.
The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received trainings from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.