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.
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.