Urfa, Turkey – Warplanes of the U.S.-led international coalition carried out “two failed parachutist landing operations” near Raqqa, in an attempt to rescue hostages held by militants of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS), local media sources reported on Friday.
“The city of Raqqa saw unprecedented intensive raids against the hardline IS group, when many military warplanes and drones were seen in the skies of the city and its countryside,” a media activist told ARA News, under the condition of anonymity. “At least 13 strikes hit the al-Furousiya area and the IS-held “Military Squad 17”.
The soured reported that 47 IS militants were killed during Friday’s attacks.
The source pointed out that the warplanes were flying at very low altitude, and during the strikes there were paratroopers landing in the Raqqa suburbs.
“The operations were apparently an attempt to rescue some Western hostages held by IS extremists,” he said, adding that clashes took place between the coalition’s forces and insurgents of the Islamic State group in the eastern countryside of Raqqa.
Also on Friday, two helicopters (belonging to the coalition’s air force) attempted to land near Saqiya Street in the youth housing area of Raqqa, but encountered resistance from IS militants who targeted the helicopters with light weapons, requiring them to fly away, according to Raqqa-based activists.
The sources pointed out that this “failed” attempt was not the first of its kind for the coalition’s forces in Raqqa, adding that on July 4, 2014, an American landing operation was carried out in the area of Akershi in eastern Raqqa in an attempt to rescue western hostages (Americans and British), but the mission failed.
ARA News published a report on July 6, 2014, chronicling an attempt by unidentified foreign forces conducting a paratrooper operation in the IS-held Raqqa.
According to testimonies of local activists at that time, the paratrooper landing was carried out by non-Syrian forces, believed to be led by American and Jordanian forces, against the ISIL-held camp of al-Akershi –known as the Camp of Sheikh Osama bin Laden in the eastern countryside of the city of Raqqa.
According to activists, the operation was backed by pro-Assad military forces, who targeted the camp with heavy weapons, followed non-Syrian forces who carried out the paratrooper landings. The operation led to the death of five militants of the Islamic State, including leading members of the group, activists reported.
Reporting by: Redwan Bizar
Source: ARA News
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