ISIL Launches Chemical Attacks on Gov't Forces in Western Raqqa Battle

ISIL Launches Chemical Attacks on Gov't Forces in Western Raqqa Battle
Sat Jul 2, 2016 18:27:50

A senior battlefield commander of the Syrian Army disclosed that the government forces have slowed down the pace of their advance in Raqqa province due to ISIL's mustard gas attack.

"The ISIL was losing the battle. We had very good and rapid advances on the Southern side of al-Tabaqa town and airbase. We targeted around 99 percent of ISIL's suicide cars," the commander said, adding, "But, the ISIL then attacked the government forces with mustard gas to prevent our advances."

"They filled their tanks and PMP vehicles with large amounts of explosive materials and used them in suicide attacks," he further added.

"We advanced nearly 88 kilometer towards al-Tabaqa airbase and we finished the first phase of Raqqa liberation operation, which made the ISIL terrorists crazy," the commander said, adding, "The command center of Raqqa operation decided to call off the operation and ordered the military forces to retreat from the newly-liberated positions tactically to evade gas attack casualties."

"We inflicted very heavy death toll on the ISIL in Raqqa operation and our missile units destroyed their military machine," he underlined.

Military sources announced on Tuesday that the Syrian Army's engineering units started an operation to defuse landmines and bombs planted by the ISIL in Western Raqqa.

"The engineering units are demining al Rasafeh region at Raqqa's Western border with Hama's Eastern border to pave the ground for the army to fortify more positions to move easier across the battlefield with higher safety," the sources said.

"The Syrian soldiers have targeted ISIL's patrolling groups in al-Rasafeh region badly and have inflicted major casualties on them," they added.

"The ISIL will not be able to take full control over Western Raqqa due to strong presence of the Syrian government forces in the region," they went on to say; FNA reported.


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