Beirut- Foreign ISIS radicals turned on Sunday against an agreement reached with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to withdraw from Tabqa in the Raqqa province and decided to continue fighting in two neighborhoods inside the Syrian city.
Meanwhile, reports coming from inside Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and the rest of Tabqa signaled that the organization was passing through its “worst conditions” since it announced the creation of the so-called “caliphate” in 2014.
This situation pushed the organization’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Sunday to announce a “march towards Raqqa.”
Also on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said fighting resumed in Tabqa despite a previous agreement between local forces and the SDF that ISIS militants withdraw towards Raqqa after non-Syrian ISIS members, who are fighting in the neighborhoods of the Madinat al-Thawrah (“Revolution City”), refused to pull out.
“Until now, SDF forces have failed to control the entire city because ISIS militants were still present in al-Wihdah and al-Hurriyah neighborhoods,” SOHR director Rami Abdul Rahman said.
High-ranking Kurdish sources told Asharq Al-Awsat “there are attempts to remove the remaining trapped ISIS jihadists from the city through the help of Arab tribes to safeguard the safety of the dam. But, until now, no agreement has been reached.”
However, Ahmad al-Ramadan, manager and founder of the Euphrates Post, offered another version of what happened in Tabqa.
Ramadan told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS militants completely withdrew last week from the city and even took with them hostages to secure their safe arrival to their destination.
“However, after withdrawing with all their families, ISIS militants came back to attack the city and its surroundings in an attempt to recapture Tabqa,” Ramadan said.
Meanwhile, in Damascus, the second stage of a ceasefire agreement signed between Iran and armed factions kicked off on Sunday in four towns to evacuate some wounded fighters belonging to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham from the Yarmouk camp, near Damascus, to Idlib.