The Liberation of Northern Raqqa
June 22, 2015
The military situation in northern Raqqa:
Burkan al-Furat, a group comprised of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Free Syria Army (FSA), controls the ground from the Turkish border and follows the M-4 highway south into Raqqa. The eastern desert in the surrounding border regions of Hasakah and Raqqa are difficult to control. This enables groups to move secretly though the desert and increases the likelihood for ISIS movement. Past the M-4, the town of Ayn Essa is still under ISIS control. However, they are almost completely surrounded by the FSA and the YPG. Today, Abo Essa and his battalion (Liwaa Thouar al-Raqqa) took the 93rd military base next to Ayn Essa, cutting the road leading southwest out of the town towards Tishreen dam. The YPG control the roads both to the east and west that allows entrance into Raqqah Province from the north. They control the area of western Tal Abyad suburbs to the Kobani District border. YPG is also largely in control of Tal Abyad town, but a small contingent of Liwaa Thouar al-Raqqah is present also. The FSA mostly controls Suluk, the northern Ayn Essa suburbs, southern Ayn Essa suburbs, Marouda, and are battling to control Ayn Essa town, the 93rd military brigade base, and Sharaqaq. All areas south of Sharaqaq are still under the control of ISIS. The road between Ayn Essa and Sharaqaq is not controlled by any particular force, but Liwaa Thouar Raqqah has an opportunity to secure the road as soon as both Sharaqaq and Ayn Essa town fall.