Heavy fighting is ongoing in the center of the ISIS capital of Raqqa, with the focus of the battle over the weekend now the main hospital in the city. ISIS holds the hospital and much of the surrounding neighborhood.
But US-backed forces are pushing into the neighborhood. Kurdish YPG fighters attempting to sort out where ISIS forces in the complex are have taken to spraying the hospital complex with heavy machine gun fire, then pause and see where retaliatory fire comes from.
ISIS snipers are active throughout Raqqa, and the Kurdish forces are constantly at risk of coming under fire. Both sides have tried trading mortar fire, and US airstrikes have been reported in the immediate vicinity.
Officials say the goal is to “isolate” the hospital. It’s not clear how many patients are in the hospital. US officials are already managing the narrative in anticipation of civilian deaths in their attacks, claiming the patients within are “human shields.”