Syria: Islamic State militants evacuate locations to avoid U.S.-led strikes

Militants of the Islamic State during a military parade in Syria's Raqqa. File photo

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey On Sunday, the U.S.-led International Coalition’s air strikes targeted strongholds of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in Raqqa province, northeastern Syria.

Speaking to ARA News in Raqqa, an opposition activist (who preferred to stay anonymous) said: “Air raids targeted al-Zarqawi camp (a military camp established recently by IS militants) in the village of Ibatin (7 km east of Raqqa) as well as a number of oil refineries in Raqqa city and its surroundings.”

The same source mentioned that the targeted places, especially refineries, were set on fire, pointing out that IS militants evacuated their strongholds in the last two days to avoid the U.S.-led strikes. One of the main headquarters of IS group which was evacuated on Saturday was the Tel Abyad National Hospital.

“Civilians did not leave their houses for fear of shelling during movement,” the same source reported.

The city of Tel Abyad (Tell Abiad) in Raqqa province is one of the main strongholds of the Islamic State in northern Syria. Tel Abyad was controlled by IS militants in December, 2013, following intensive clashes with Syrian rebels and other Islamic armed groups.

In other developments, military sources from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) told ARA News that the U.S.-led Coalition carried out several raids against IS strongholds east of the Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria, killing dozens of militants in the village of Alishar and its surroundings.

The same sources added that sporadic clashes took place between the Kurdish forces of the YPG and IS militant fighters in the countryside of Kobane on Sunday.

Field journalist Omid Khoshman mentioned the killing of some IS members by the YPG in the southern countryside of Kobane following clashes between the two parties near the villages of Robi and Idoqli on Sunday.

Meanwhile, IS fighters targeted the eastern part of the city of Kobane with mortar fire, killing a civilian and injuring eight others, according to local sources.


Reporting by: Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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