ISIL Trying to Move Capital to Deir Ezzur after US-Backed Fighters Allow Terrorists to Withdraw from Raqqa
The sources said that while the US and the Predominately Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have permitted ISIL terrorists to leave their capital city of Raqqa without clashes, the Takfiri terrorists are moving towards Deir Ezzur in groups.
In the meantime, the Russian-language Izvestia daily reported that the agreement between the SDF and ISIL on evacuation of terrorists from Raqqa has caused intensified ISIL attacks on pro-government forces’ positions in Deir Ezzur.
The paper further added that the ISIL is trying to drive the Syrian Army troops out of Deir Ezzur city to declare it as its new capital.
The daily went on to say that the Syrian General Command is about to dispatch fresh forces from Palmyra to Deir Ezzur on airplanes to join the army forces in Deir Ezzur to face ISIL as strong as possible.
Izvestia also said that the general command will possibly use Ilyushin Il-76 cargo planes they recently received from Russia in this operation.
Arab media outlets disclosed in the weekend that ISIL started withdrawing troops from West of Raqqa province following an agreement with the US-backed Kurdish forces.
According to reports, the SDF forces 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 Syria’s Badiyeh (desert).
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 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. ISIL 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.
A Russian daily said mid-March that the ISIL power was declining in Raqqa and Mosul, adding that the terrorist group was very much likely to pick up Deir Ezzur as its new self-proclaimed capital.
Izvestia newspaper reported that the ISIL has transferred its senior commanders to Deir Ezzur after its major losses in Iraq and Syria.
General Turki Hassan, a prominent military expert, told the Russian daily that the ISIL move to Deir Ezzur was not just confined to the military commanders and includes their family members too.
Also, Brigadier General Yahya Soleiman, a retired army commander, said that the ISIL decided to attack the Syrian army forces in Deir Ezzur and it launched massive offensives against the army positions near the highly important Deir Ezzur airbase in the past few days which were all repelled.
Meantime, Boris Dolgov, a Russian analyst, underlined that the ISIL was showing futile resistance because after continued defeats in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group would be turned into an armed group not in control of any specific area which should always be on the move to find another region to base its command center there, and Deir Ezzur was their base choice to this end.