The Islamic State (IS) group is using drones rigged with munitions in the battle for the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, a FRANCE 24 team inside the jihadist group’s highly dangerous self-proclaimed capital discovers.
While entering Raqqa from the eastern side, past dusty, desolate neighbourhoods, a nearby explosion briefly rocks the armored vehicle carrying a FRANCE 24 team and fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters battling the IS group in the heart of its de facto capital is facing a new, technologically advanced threat from the skies.
“A drone has targeted our vehicle. The bomb fell 50 metres away,” a female Kurdish fighter in the vehicle explains.
The IS group is targeting US-backed forces with drones rigged with grenade-sized munitions with a relatively high degree of accuracy. The small, agile unmanned aerial vehicles are very difficult to shoot down and are slowing down the advance into the heart of the Syrian city.
On the roof of one of the tallest buildings in the area, SDF fighters find it impossible to set up anti-sniper positions since the jihadist group’s attacks from the skies are fairly frequent.