News ID: 3927625 -

Some ISIL leaders abandon Syria’s Raqqa ahead of upcoming offensive

MOSCOW , Mar. 09 (MNA) – Several leaders of the ISIL terrorist group are reportedly leaving the Syrian city of Raqqa ahead of an upcoming major operation to liberate the it.

 A number of leaders of the ISIL terrorist group are leaving the Syrian city of Raqqa ahead of the upcoming major operation to liberate the city, US media report.

The exact number of ISIL leaders who had fled the city was not specified, but it is known that an estimated 3,000 – 4,000 ISIL fighters remain in Raqqa, which the terrorists have branded their capital, The New York Times said on Wednesday citing a US defense official.

US media reported on Wednesday that US marines had arrived in Syria to establish an outpost in support of the operation to retake Raqqa from ISIL . The marines will be supporting US partner forces on the ground that lead the offensive to liberate the city, codenamed Operation Euphrates Rage.

The operation was launched by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on November 5, 2016.

US Defense Department spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik on Wednesday that the department was not releasing any information on the recent movement and deployment of US forces in Syria due to security concerns.

SPUTNIK/MNA