ISIL Using Civilians for Human Shield against Army Advances in Raqqa

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Monday, 22 February 2016

The ISIL terrorist group has launched a large-scale campaign in Raqqa to capture all civilians in the city and its countryside to use them as human shields as the Syrian government forces, with the Russian aerial back up, have significantly pushed Northeast towards Raqqa from Aleppo and Hama provinces.

"The recapture of around 10 square kilometers in Ithriya region towards Raqqa province by the Syrian Army troops and the National Defense Forces (NDF) has caused serious concerns among ISIL's top commanders in Raqqa and they have, thus, started capturing and kidnappding citizens in and around the city of Raqqa in a bid to use them as human shield in the battlefields to slow down the army advances," several local sources near the city of Raqqa - the self-proclaimed capital of the ISIL - said on Sunday.

Meantime, the Russian air fleet pounded several military columns of the ISIL fresh forces heading Ithriya battlefield to save their defeated comrades in Hama province.

Reports said on Saturday that the Syrian army and the NDF seized back several strategic military checkpoints in Raqqa province with the help of the Russian air support.

The army units and popular forces took full control over al-Rabe'a and al-Khamesa checkpoints, as well as al-Masbah, al-Alam and al-Talal military checkpoints located on al-Raqqa road near Zakiya town in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists.

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