US Air Strikes Hit Multiple Targets In Raqqa - Islamic State De Facto Capital

By Updated at 2015-07-05 06:29:29 +0000


US-led coalition forces carried out a series of 16 airstrikes on Saturday on the ISIS in its de facto Capital of Raqqa in Syria, in one of the biggest assaults on the extremists.

"The significant airstrikes tonight were executed to deny Islamic State the ability to move military capabilities throughout Syria and into Iraq," spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gilleran said in a coalition statement.
"This was one of the largest deliberate engagements we have conducted to date in Syria and it will have debilitating effects on ISIS's ability to move from Raqqa."
Coalition forces "successfully engaged multiple targets" throughout Raqqa - the statement said, destroying ISIS structures and transit routes.
The strikes "have severely constricted terrorist freedom of movement," it added.

The announcement came after the Islamic State released a video showing teenage members executing 25 Syrian soldiers in an Amphitheater in the ancient ruins of Palmyra.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights meanwhile reported heavy clashes in several parts of western Aleppo.

The airstrikes have been more numerous in places where the coalition can coordinate with partners on the ground, as in Iraq, where the regular Iraqi Army, Kurdish peshmerga forces and local militias are fighting ISIS.

Unlike in Iraq, the Syrian government has not asked for the coalition’s help to fight ISIS, and many coalition members do not want to get embroiled in the nearly four-year long Syrian civil war. What’s more, in places like Raqqa, the risk of hitting civilians is much higher than average, as the city is completely under ISIS control.

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