Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Pentagon | ISIS | Islamic State | State of Emergency | Raqqa | Syria

Pentagon: ISIS Has Issued State of Emergency for Raqqa

Pentagon: ISIS Has Issued State of Emergency for Raqqa
(Newsmax Wires)

By    |   Saturday, 14 May 2016 01:56 PM

The Islamic State has issued a state of emergency for its stronghold of Raqqa, according to the Pentagon, and U.S. authorities are monitoring the situation to determine what it entails.

"We have seen this declaration of emergency in Raqqa, whatever that means," Col Steve Warren said during a Pentagon briefing on Friday, reports The Telegraph in London.  "We know this enemy feels threatened, as they should. They see the Syrian Democratic Forces along with the Syrian Arab Coalition maneuver both to their east and to their west."

The group has been shoring up its supplies inside underground bunkers and covering military vehicles, The Telegraph reports, in the city where it is believed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi lives.

"We've had reports of ISIL repositioning both their combat capabilities and personnel, either within the city or even out of the city," said Warren. "So, rightfully, ISIL understands that their days are increasingly numbered. We are going to continue to keep this pressure on them and we expect to see them collapse eventually."

Earlier this week, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces  said commanders of its affiliated groups in Northern Syria has plans for a final joint operation to liberate Raqqa.

Warren said in Friday's briefing that allied actions have also hit the Islamist group hard financially.

"We have two operations targeting ISIL finances. One is called Operation Point Blank, which aims to destroy the Daesh cash piles that we find," said Warren. "The other is Tidal Wave II, which focuses on their oil revenue."

As a result, the group's total income has taken a hit, and "their income from oil specifically has, we believe, by about 50 percent," said Warren. "Their primary source of income is what they refer to now as taxation. In reality, we know that it's extortion. But even their ability to extort money from their own people continues to be reduced as our partner forces liberate more and more territory."

There has also been a reduction of foreign fighters coming in, said Warren, with the numbers decreasing by as much as 75 percent.

"We assess that ISIL is no longer able to replenish its ranks at the rate its fighters are dying on the ground," said Warren. "We attribute the reduction in foreign fighter flow to a range of factors, including our military gains on the ground, as well as active steps by governments to strengthen and enforce border security and also counter recruitment efforts."

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The Islamic State has issued a state of emergency for its stronghold of Raqqa, according to the Pentagon, and U.S. authorities are monitoring the situation to determine what it entails.
Pentagon, ISIS, Islamic State, State of Emergency, Raqqa, Syria
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2016-56-14
Saturday, 14 May 2016 01:56 PM
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