Warplanes have bombed the Daesh group’s de facto Syrian capital Raqqa, killing at least 25 civilians, after the terrorists drove pro-government forces out of their bastion northern province.
Twin offensives aimed at severing the terrorist’s supply line from the Turkish border to Raqqa city appear to have largely stalled as Daesh mounts a fierce defense using suicide bombers.
Six children were among the 25 civilians killed in bombing raids on Raqqa city Tuesday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“Dozens more were wounded, some of them critically,” said the British-based monitor, adding they were likely carried out by regime ally Russia.
The Syrian government, Russia and a US-led coalition have all carried out airstrikes against Daesh in Raqqa.
The Observatory said fresh raids, apparently by the coalition, also hit the city Wednesday.
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) — an anti-Daesh activist group which gathers news on atrocities in the city — posted photos of what it said were the aftermath of Tuesday’s strikes.
They show a concrete balcony hanging off the damaged facade of a residential building as a large fire engulfs a white minivan.
RBSS activist Abu Mohammad told AFP that Tuesday’s wounded were struggling to get proper medical treatment as Daesh has recruited most doctors in the city to treat its own men.
A tribal militant who had fought alongside government forces recounted how the army had first been slowed down by mines planted by Daesh.
“Then Daesh used a huge number of rockets and other explosives to attack the army,” which was forced to withdraw from its main outposts, he said.
Washington-based analyst Fabrice Balanche said the pullback could be attributed to a lack of “elite forces” engaged in the battle.
“At the first suicide attacks, they retreated,” he said. “The Syrian forces were spread too thin to be defendable.”