Beirut- The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that the Washington-led international coalition launched a new air strike against forces linked to the regime in east Syria for ignoring previous warnings not to enter the area.
It was the second time in less than a month that the US forces attacked pro-regime militias in Syria. The coalition said these forces included tanks and other vehicles in addition to a group of about 60 pro-regime soldiers.
“The coalition issued several warnings via the de-confliction line prior to destroying two artillery pieces, an anti-aircraft weapon, and damaging a tank,” the US-led coalition said in a statement.
Meanwhile, on the first day of launching the battle to liberate Raqqa from ISIS, Kurdish and Arab forces infiltrated the neighborhoods of the city and tightened the noose on the terrorist militias who had used civilians as human shields after being attacked by the US-led coalition.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Silo said on Tuesday that fierce battles against ISIS were taking place on the outskirts of al-Sabahiyah, the first neighborhood to be attacked from the western side of the city.
Silo said that ISIS militias were retreating in the direction of central Raqqa.
At the northern front, Silo said: “Members of the Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa (Raqqa Revolutionary Brigades), affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) advanced and entered the first neighborhood from the northern side of the city. Currently, clashes are ongoing in the Sariko buildings near the grain silos.”
Lt. Gen Steve Townsend, the coalition Commanding General, said in a coalition statement that the battle for Raqqa would be “long and difficult” but would deliver a “decisive blow to the idea of ISIS as a physical caliphate”.
He added: “It’s hard to convince new recruits that ISIS is a winning cause when they just lost their twin ‘capitals’ in both Iraq and Syria.”