Airstrikes on Raqqa Hitting Empty Areas, Accomplishing Little

Escalations in ISIS Capital Not Amounting to Much

US, Russian, and French warplanes are pounding the ISIS capital city of Raqqa over the past several days, a dramatic escalation in numbers, which have raised questions about why, if these nations had so many targets available, they’re only getting around to attacking them now.

The reality so far seems to be that these aren’t targets at all, with witnesses on the ground saying the strikes are hitting empty areas or abandoned buildings, doing virtually nothing to ISIS forces, and seemingly designed primarily to avoid civilian deaths.

Keeping support for the escalation going necessarily meant limiting civilian casualties, but the narrative also meant more strikes were needed. This appears to have been resolved, with the lack of good targets, by just hitting empty fields around Raqqa and hyping that they’re going after the ISIS capital.

25-30 French strikes were reported since Friday in Raqqa, but very limited casualties, and most of the property damage apparently to sites that had already been hit in the past or were simply not in use anymore anyhow.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of