Coalition drops leaflets threatening Islamic State, citizens unimpressed

US-led coalition warplanes dropped leaflets in A-Raqqa city on Sunday warning Islamic State fighters that the “zero hour has become very near,” pictures of which were published A-Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) Facebook page.

“We can raid you wherever you are at any time at any place and you have no power to stop us…the hour of your destruction has approached and the zero hour has become very near,” reads part of the flier, which is written in colloquial Syrian, rather than formal, Arabic.

RBSS’s founder, Abu Ibrahim a-Raqawi, told Syria Direct on Monday that he found the leaflets puzzling, noting that they were “written in a dialect, but not the A-Raqqa dialect.”

“I don’t know what the benefit of dropping leaflets like this is,” a-Raqawi said.

“They are amusing because it is impossible that a killer like an IS fighter would be convinced by these words, unless the coalition meant to send a message to the civilians that it thinks are IS’s popular base, which is an incorrect idea,” added a-Raqawi.

Coalition planes also dropped leaflets in Syria at the end of March, when approximately 60,000 copies of a cartoon depicting IS fighters grinding up recruits in a meat grinder fell from the sky. 

-Photo courtesy of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently 

Osama Abu Zeid

Osama Abu Zeid is a native of Homs, where he served as a media activist and founding member of the Homs Revolutionary Council after the Syrian uprising began in 2011.

James Bowker

James Bowker graduated from Tufts University in 2013 with a double major in Arabic Language & Middle Eastern Studies. He has previously worked with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) study-abroad program and as a remote translator for the Article 25 Right to Health campaign.