The self-proclaimed Islamic State has reportedly declared a “state of emergency” for its capital in Syria.
Reports, citing unnamed officials, said that ISIS had begun moving furtively within the city of Raqqa in anticipation of a campaign against the city. The Islamic jihadist group reportedly began covering its military vehicles and bolstering their supplies inside underground bunkers.
In recent months, U.S.-backed forces, along with Kurdish forces, have increasingly surrounded Raqqa, closing off supply routes both east and west of the ISIS stronghold. But U.S. officials are confused as to what provoked the supposed announcement.
Some suggest this tweet could have caused the panic within the terror organization:
“We have seen this declaration of emergency in Raqqa, whatever that means,” Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, told reporters Friday. “We know this enemy feels threatened, as they should.”
Despite the purported declaration, there is no significant movement of equipment or military personnel toward Raqqa by either local forces on the ground or U.S. coalition airstrikes above.
—Nancy A. Youssef