A recent series of airstrikes launched by Russian air forces against the Islamic State in Syria caused the ISIL militants to evacuate their checkpoints in Raqqa and to cancel all public events there.
A source in the Islamic State’s so-called ‘capital’ told Sputnik on condition of anonymity that Russian airstrikes have caused widespread panic among the Islamist militants who apparently were not expecting such a relentless assault.
“They thought that Russian warplanes would act like their American counterparts – that they would launch some sporadic surgical strikes at dusk and then they would fly away,” the source said. “Instead, Russian military aircraft constantly bombard ISIS positions in the vicinity of Raqqa, and these massed strikes have completely paralyzed the Islamist group’s activities. The Russian air operation proved to be extremely effective.”
The source added that Russian military aircraft engage any ISIL forces they encounter, and that the militants were forced to evacuate the checkpoints they previously maintained in and around Raqqa.
“The militants now have to wear burqas to conceal their weapons and ISIL command also ordered them not to move in large formations,” the source added.
The Islamic State leadership also cancelled collective prayers that were previously held by the terrorist group members on the city streets. According to the source, weddings and public punishments are also no longer held in the city’s squares.
“Previously, when one of the city residents was caught stealing or smoking or committing some other transgression, he or she was brought to the central square where the Sharia court was held to be publically punished. Now these activities were are no longer conducted due to safety concerns,” source said.