Syrian warplanes mounted several air strikes on the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa on Thursday. The government attacks on Raqqa, the de-facto ISIL capital in Syria, were the first in years and could signal a newly found sense of urgency in Damascus to confront ISIL as the main threat. The government in the past concentrated on fighting the moderate and hardline opposition forces, seemingly conceding eastern Syria to ISIL.
U.S.-led coalition air forces have been targeting Raqqa, waging waves of airstrikes on ISIL positions in the city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian military today mounted at least 11 air strikes on Raqqa. (Reuters, 17 September)
File photo: Raqqa after a U.S.-led airstrike on 5 July 2015 (CNN)