During the last week of Ramadan, there have been no significant changes in the map of control for Raqqa. However, the only changes have been an increase in the number of martyrs killed via airstrikes and shelling – not to mention mines planted by ISIS. Many of those killed are now being called “Water Martyrs” by locals, as they died trying to bring water back home to their families.
In the east, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) still control Al-Mashlab, the Industrial city, and the Bttani neighborhoods. Around the Bttani neighborhoods, violent clashes continue to take place between ISIS and SDF.
In the west, SDF control has expanded during the last week, as attacking forces managed to capture the residential neighbors near Al Qadisiya and Iddikhar. However, ISIS is not standing by without resistance; the terrorist group as launched several suicide attacks against forces attempting to close in on the city.
After their failure to advance upon the city from the north, the SDF has started marching toward the train station and the area near the new post office.
In the south, the attacking forces have not yet fully besieged the city, as the SDF stopped advancing towards the old bridge area after having reached the new bridge. Forces there have only faced a few clashes from time to time.
Inside the city, bombardment dominates the environment – with more than 200 airstrikes every day. It is also worth mentioning that several fighters from the ISIS have now fled the city and joined SDF.
Life in the areas under SDF control are not much better. Displaced people are being abused by YPG militants on daily basis – from use of violence to forced recruitment.
In a related note, displaced people in Al Karama camp continue to suffer from extremely poor humanitarian conditions due to a severe shortage of food, water, and quality healthcare.