Local activists report that the measure has been in force for over two weeks. Fines and imprisonment for those who do not respect the rule. The rapid advance of the Arab-Kurdish coalition, backed by US air raids, impels decision. Thousands of civilians and jihadist families fleeing the province of Aleppo.
Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Islamic State militias(IS) in jihadi stronghold Raqqa, in Syria, are forcing civilians to wear "Afghan" clothing according to activists and inhabitants. The aim is to mix the fighters to the crowd and protect them in case of air raids.
Abu Mohamed of the dissident movement "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", active on social media in denouncing the jihadist violence in the city, reports that for "more than two weeks" Daesh [Arabic acronym for the SI] has imposed "an Afghan-style dress code."
"For those who do not respect the norm - he adds - there are fines and imprisonment."
The new restrictions imposed by the extremist group leaders come as the Arab-Kurdish alliance continues the march towards Raqqa, supported by US-led coalition air raids targeting IS objectives. The law, Abu Mohamed continues, "is an attempt to make it harder to hunt and for Kurdish forces ... to distinguish between civilians and members of Daesh".
According to the leader of "Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered ", a "state of maximum alert" exists in the city; every day, he explains, new checkpoints sprout up, and jihadists arrest anyone who describes the situation as disastrous. "Prices have gone through the roof - he concludes - and we lack both electricity and drinking water."
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adds that in recent days a number of civilians and family members of the IS militants are trying to flee the province of Aleppo,. The goal is to find refuge and shelter in Raqqa province. "There are thousands of families," notes the activist, along with "about 120 families of Daesh fighters and commanders".
After the latest advances on the battlefield, the Arab-Kurdish coalition is just eight kilometers from Raqqa, in the north-east direction. IS is blocking the entrance of civilians, but allows the passage of the relatives of their militiamen. The transport takes place by water because "the overland passage is impossible due to the destruction of the Euphrates" River bridges.
The jihadists' self-described caliphate is crumbling. IS is believed to be holding civilians as human shields in the hospital, complicating efforts to capture the position. The militia has captured around 90 percent of Raqa since entering the city in June. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled the city.
According to the General Staff of the United States Peter Gersten, between 500 and 800 million in cash destroyed in the attacks. Spike in defections (up to 90%) and decline in new arrivals, especially among foreign fighters. $ 150 million kept in one house in Mosul.
The child had been accused of "blasphemy." The execution took place in public in front of his parents and a crowd. A girl is locked in a cage with corpses and bones of the dead for being caught without a veil in her own home.
With the support of the US raids, Syrian Democratic Forces create a 25-meter gap. The goal is to speed up military operations to wrest the stronghold of Caliphate. Inside there are still 4,000 jihadists ready to fight. UN: fear for fate of civilians used as human shields.
Roadblocks and tension grow: dozens of members managed to escape from the Tabka prison. They tell of the torture and summary executions of men and women. No sign of imminent attack. The streets around the market covered with tarps to avoid drones. People are forced to pay.