The jihadists and their military command are now centered some 140 kilometers southeast of the city of Raqqa. Iin the wake of increased pressure from the US-backed Syrian fighters, the IS “government” is no longer in Raqqa.
In late March, the US coalition told that up to 3,500 IS fighters were estimated to have been present in Raqqa, long described as the terrorist group’s “capital” or stronghold in Syria. The city with the population of some 300,000 people was captured by the terrorists in 2013.
But hundreds of IS “bureaucrats” left the terrorist stronghold in the past two months for the IS-held city of Mayadin, officials told, adding that the move has been watched by US military drones. Mayadin is located some 40 kilometers from the surrounded city of Deir ez-Zor, which has been the sole government-controlled area of the province resisting repeated IS offensives.
Deir ez-Zor province has seen some of the bloodiest fighting and massacres in Syria, which have also been apparently underreported by the mainstream media. The infamous US strike on the Syrian Army, in which dozens of troops were killed “by mistake” in an hour-long coalition raid on September 17, also took place in Deir ez-Zor.