RAQQA IN THE CROSSHAIRS: Syrian regime warplanes struck the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham headquarters in a-Raqqa city Sunday, hitting the group’s Finance Ministry and Islamic Court, the extremist group’s principal headquarters in the province.
The airstrike was the first regime attack on a-Raqqa in “nearly two months,” pro-opposition media activist Abu Mohammed told Syria Direct on Monday.
Sharing a photo of the damage to the Islamic Court, ISIS’s official account blamed the “Nusairi regime” for the airstrike, using as a derogatory term for Alawite Muslims.
Pro-government newspaper al-Watan confirmed the news, reporting “the air forces targeted the principal headquarters of the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham organizations, known as ISIS, in the Governorate building in a-Raqqa, as well as its Finance Directorate.”
Pro-ISIS media added the strike also killed an Azerbaijani foreign fighter who had arrived in “the Land of Sham” last Thursday.
ISIS forces consolidated control of the majority of a-Raqqa province on January 16th of this year, the extremist group has been primarily engaged in a wide-ranging battle with other rebel groups across northern and eastern Syria.
On Saturday, moderate rebel groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army seized control of the northern a-Raqqa province villages of Hazima and Kebesh from ISIS forces, killing 11 ISIS combatants, pro-opposition Masar Press Agency reported.
On the same day, ISIS crucified two young men in the Aleppo city of Menbej, accusing them of cooperating with the sahwat, a derogatory term ISIS has adopted to describe other rebel groups. Meanwhile, reports circulated on pro-opposition media that ISIS had also crucified three other Free Syrian Army combatants in Deir e-Zor, similarly accusing them of “parleying with infidels.”
-June 9, 2014
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