Despite US officials presenting the new offensive announced yesterday by the Kurdish YPG as “against Raqqa,” and reports of leaflets being dropped ordering Raqqa’s civilian population to flee, YPG spokesman Talal Silo insisted there was no plan to attack Raqqa at all.
The offensive itself, Silo insists, is targeted at the territory north of Raqqa, though since they already took the town of Tel Abyad months ago, this really doesn’t amount to much other than some farmland and a few tiny villages.
This stands in start contrast to the expectation that this offensive would be hugely destabilizing to ISIS, and to claims that the Kurds had amassed a force of 30,000 fighters in the area and gotten approval from both the US and Russia for the influx.
It’s already having a pretty serious impact on Raqqa residents, however, with locals reporting that a number of residents are signing up with ISIS in preparation to defend the city from this expected offensive, reflecting their fear of violent purges by the Kurds if they did take the city.
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