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    US-Led Coalition Warns Trapped Raqqa Residents Before Airstrikes on Daesh

    © AP Photo / Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, US Air Force
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    The US-led coalition against the terror group Daesh (outlawed in Russia) is warning residents of the Syrian city of Raqqa to avoid boats and ferries regularly used by the militants to escape airstrikes, a spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve told Sputnik on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The leaflets, which are approximately the size of a US dollar bill, say in Arabic "[Daesh] is using boats and ferries to transport weapons and fighters. Do not use ferries or boats, air strikes are coming."

    "As our partner forces prepare to liberate Raqqah, the Coalition routinely drops leaflets as an effective means of communicating messages to civilians who are trapped in the city and subject to the barbaric rule of ISIS [Daesh]," the spokesperson said.

    The spokesperson added the primary reason for the leaflets is to mitigate civilian casualties as much as possible during the operation to retake the city from Daesh.

    US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles conduct airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
    © REUTERS / U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/Handout
    On Thursday, the activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently reported that the coalition was warning civilians in leaflets to leave their homes after 9 p.m. because coalition forces planned to bomb the city.

    The reports came as Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported Daesh militants were building fortifications around the city as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other fighters backed by the US-led coalition move to surround the city.

    An SDF spokeswoman said the SDF units had secured control of the villages around Raqqa but warned the battle to fully liberate the city could take months. The US Department of Defense estimates around 3,000-4,000 Daesh fighters remain in Raqqa.


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    airstrike, Daesh, Syria, United States, Raqqa
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