Raqqa’s civilains to be human shields for ISIS cowards…
Perhaps proving that discretion is the better part of valor, reports are filtering out of Syria that the ISIS leadership is leaving Raqqa just as fast as their SUVs can take them.
With heavily armed US Marines reportedly a mere 15 miles from the beleaguered city, the Breitbart.com news portal notes that “dozens of Islamic State vehicles” loaded up with “high-ranking commanders and their families” have been fleeing towards the ISIS stronghold city of Deir Ezzor in the eastern region of the embattled country.
Among those beating a hasty retreat from the de facto ISIS capital city include supposed tough guy and the self-titled Caliph of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
While reports surfaced of plotting to escape Raqqa as early as a month ago, various media outlets report a newfound desperation among the terrorist group’s leadership to reestablish itself in another location before they lose their most significant conquest. Islamic State jihadists are also reportedly fleeing Mosul, including “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The outlet Voice of America (VoA) cites a number of activists from the organizations Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – as well a leader of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – stating they have evidence indicating that the Islamic State’s leadership is looking to leave town and resettle in Deir Ezzor. Hussam Eesa of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently tells Voice of America that “dozens” of Islamic State vehicles have begun the march through the desert out of Raqqa. The outlet describes those fleeing as “high-ranking commanders and their families.”
“When the Mosul offensive intensified, IS brought many leaders to both Raqqa and Deir Ezzor and so now some of those deployed to Raqqa have been moved to Deir Ezzor,” SDF media advisor Mustafa Abdi told Voice of America.
Breitbart also cited that an unnamed defense official stated, “Daesh is on the run [and] being degraded by every measure.”
As it turns out, the leadership of the terrorist mob aren’t the only ones bugging out;
Similar reports, on a small scale, surfaced in February. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters last month that American intelligence had reason to believe Raqqa’s ISIS leadership had begun to flee the city. “An unspecified number of IS ‘bureaucrats’ are heading east along the north bank of the Euphrates River toward Deir el-Zour, because they see the end is near in Raqqa,” he said. At the time, those identified as fleeing were not jihadists but Sharia judges and other “non-combatant” terrorists.
As Islamic State terrorist officials began their escape, the group issued new decrees intended to keep civilians in the city to be used as human shields when the battle for Raqqa begins. “In the past, people couldn’t leave [IS] territory, but what’s new this time is that they can’t even leave their cities to other IS-held areas,” Eesa of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently told VoA last month.