ISIL Commanders Hold Secret Talks with US-Backed Forces to Leave Raqqa
The sources said that the SDF forces have held talks with the ISIL to encourage the militants to withdraw from Sad al-Rashid area as well as the towns of al-Mansourah and Hanidah in Western Raqqa without any resistance, and move towards Badiyeh.
They added that the talks were held after the SDF forces fully surrounded the gates of the two towns.
Reports indicated that Washington prefers to occupy Raqqa immediately without major casualties on the US-backed forces. Also, if the ISIL leaves Raqqa without any clashes, the US will not need the SDF to occupy the city and the territories can be filled with other terrorist groups which are called by the US as moderate militants.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that the ISIL militants continue to cross the Euphrates River in Syria from their stronghold of Raqqa despite being encircled by Kurdish and US-led coalition forces.
“At the same time, the SDF stopped its offensive, resulting in ruptures in the ISIL’s ring of encirclement. Using this, the terrorists cross the Euphrates and seek to transfer their formations in the southern direction of Syria,” it said.
“The command of the Russian grouping of forces in the Syrian Arab Republic will continue to take all necessary measures to prevent the breakthrough of the ISIL units from Raqqa to the provinces of Homs and Hama,” it added.
According to Moscow, Russia’s Aerospace Forces thwarted two attempts by ISIL to break through to Palmyra from Raqqa in the past week.
“The first convoy of terrorists from Raqqa heading to Palmyra was destroyed by the Russian Aerospace Forces on May 25. IS militants made another attempt to break through to the Palmyra area on the night of May 29 to 30. Three motorcades left Raqqa under the cover of darkness and took several routes southward,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The Russian Aerospace Forces hit the detected targets. The ISIL lost more than 80 terrorists, 36 cars, eight fuel trucks and 17 pickup trucks equipped with mortars and large-caliber machine guns,” the ministry added.
The SDF started military Operations codenamed ‘Euphrates Rage’ to liberate Raqqa from the ISIL hands in November 2016.