The Russians have not yet publicly announced their involvement in the operations to liberate the city of Raqqa, ISIS’ main stronghold in Syria. However, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdul Rahman told Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday that the main fighting force there that is fighting alongside the regime’s forces is the “Desert Hawks” and added that it “is a secondary force supported by Russia, and there is information that says that the force underwent Russian training”.
Elsewhere on the battlefield, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which are made up of mainly Kurdish militias and are supported by the US advanced towards the battle front on the eastern countryside of Aleppo and are now on the outskirts of the city of Manbij, ISIS’ other stronghold.
Gunfire and air raids that have been going on for days continued yesterday, targeting neighbourhoods under the control of combatant factions in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Activists confirmed that “16 people were killed in airstrikes yesterday”.