From the following report yesterday hundreds of IS fighters fled Raqqa. Emphasis in the report is mine:
Sputnik; Nov 22, 2015 - 9:29 local time:
Syrian and Iraqi troops, supported by Russian air strikes in Syria, have continued to advance on Islamic State militants, leaving the jihadist group with just 34 bases in these two Arab countries, the Iranian news agency FARS quoted a media activist as saying.
"At present, ISIL only has 34 bases in Mosul, Raqqa, etc. which were many more in number," Mohammad Ali al-Hakim, Managing-Director of Iraq's al-Nakhil news agency, said.
According to him, the Islamic State may finally be destroyed in the foreseeable future.
"The end of the ISIL which has been borne by the westerners is close," he said.
On Thursday, it was reported that ISIL had sustained heavy casualties due to Russia's anti-ISIL airstrikes and its long-range cruise missile attacks from the Mediterranean.
On Saturday, hundreds of Islamic State militants reportedly fled the Syrian city of Raqqa; the Russian fighters and long-range bombers have intensified their airstrikes on the strongholds and command centers of the ISIL militants in recent days.
It was also reported that the militants had retreated from the southern areas of Syria's Hasakah province, north of Raqqa amid the ongoing offensive by the Syrian Army, which has been supported by Russian airstrikes.
According to al-Mayadeen television, which broadcasts in Arabic, ISIL terrorists are moving their families and heavy weaponry from the city of al-Shadadi in the southern countryside of Hasakah to Deir Ezzur.
In September 30, more than fifty Russian aircraft, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 warplanes, commenced precision airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Earlier that day, the Russian upper house of parliament unanimously supported the request of President Vladimir Putin to deploy units of the Russian Aerospace Forces abroad.
Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad confirmed that Syrian Army strikes, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, were carried out against armed terrorist organizations, not political opposition factions or civilians.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army and air force are methodically advancing against IS, Nusra Front and related terror organizations. From the government's SANA website yesterday's situation report; see the website for reports from last week.
November 21: The army establishes control over new areas, kills ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in others
Provinces, SANA-- Army units on Saturday continued operations in a number of provinces, killing and injuring dozens of ISIS and Jabhet al-Nusra terrorists and obliterating their hideouts and weaponry.
26 terrorists killed
Units of the Army and Armed Forces killed 26 terrorists during operations against dens of terrorist organizations in Eastern Ghouta region in Damascus Countryside.
Field sources told SANA’s reporter that operations in the surroundings of Marj al-Sultan reserve airport resulted in the army establishing control over many several, farms, and posts where Jabhat al-Nusra organization terrorists had been positioned, destroying two vehicles equipped with machineguns and fortifications, in addition to killing 16 terrorists.
Another army unit destroyed two vehicles and a base for Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in Utaiya village to the north of al-Nashabiyeh town and killed explosives expert Ahmad Abd Rabou and other terrorists.
Army operations targeted dens of ” Jaish al-Islam” terrorist organizaiton to the east of Harasta highway, which resulted in establishing control over a number of buildings and the surrounding farms after killing a number of terrorists.
While combing the area, engineering units dismantled various explosive devices which were planted by terrorists before their defeat.
In Aaliya and Karm al-Rasas farms at the northern outskirts of Douma city, a number of Jaish al-Islam terrorists were killed during accurate strikes by an army unit during which two vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns were also destroyed.
In Jobar area, another army unit killed a number of terrorists from “Failaq al-Rahman” terrorist organization, including the leader of a terrorist group nicknamed “Abu Sayyah Fasouliyeh.”
Maheen al-Kabeer and Maheen al-Sagheer Mountains under army control
A unit of the Army and Armed Forces, in cooperation with popular defense groups, establishes full control over Maheen al-Kabeer and Maheen al-Sagheer Mountains in the southeastern countryside of Homs province, a military source told SANA.
The source said that this came after the army and defense groups carried out concentrated and precise strikes on ISIS positions and fortified sites, inflicting heavy losses on the members of the terrorist organization and establishing controls over the two mountains which overlook the town of Maheen.
The source went on to say that the Syrian Air Force destroyed ISIS bases and concentrations in a series of airstrikes in Palmyra (Tadmur), al-Tarr Mountain, Hawareen, Khan al-Hallabat, al-Abtar station, and al-Sawwana, while an army unit repelled an attack by ISIS in Palmyra countryside.
Earlier, several ISIS terrorists were killed in the army’s operations against their gatherings in al-Dwa and al-Shaer oil field in the western countryside of Palmyra, while clashes between army units and ISIS terrorists in the surroundings of Maheen and Hawareen resulted in killing and injuring a number of terrorists and destroying mortar launchers, artillery, and hideouts for the terrorist organization.
In Homs’ northern countryside, field sources affirmed that the army destroyed a command center for terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra in the surroundings of Housh Haju village in Talbeisah region.
Idleb & Hama
At least 35 terrorists from the so-called jaish al-Fateh were killed in special army operations against their dens and gatherings in Hama and Idleb countryside.
Field sources in Idleb countryside told SANA that at least six terrorists were killed and seven others were injured in an operation by an army unit against a den for Jaish al-Fateh terrorists in al-Tamana’a village near Ma’aret al-Nouman city.
Another army unit targeted gatherings of terrorists from “Ahrar al-Sham Islamic movement” terrorist organization in the eastern side of al-Hbeit village in the southern countryside of the province, killing at least three terrorists and destroying a hideout along with all arms and ammunition inside, the sources added.
In al-Zawiyeh Mountain area, an army killed Ali al-Farhan, a leader of one of the terrorist groups, and two members of his group in Shnan village 30 kilometers to the south of Idleb city.
Meanwhile in Hama province, the “mufti” of terrorist groups in Kafr Zita town Bassam al-Qabalan was killed along with terrorist Ali al-Khalil al-Khalil in an army operation, while 3 vehicles were destroyed and terrorist group leader Mohammad al-Mustafa was killed in the town’s surroundings along with terrorists Khaled al-Badawi, Haitham al-Rifa’i, and Mohammad Abdelaziz al-Sayyegh.
The army also targeted gatherings terrorists from the so-called Ahrar al-Sham movement in Atshan village in the northern countryside of Hama, destroying two vehicles and killing five terrorists including Ali Karim al-Sousi.
In the town of al-Latamneh, an army unit destroyed a rocket launcher, a vehicle, and a car equipped with a 14.5mm machinegun, and killed 12 terrorists including Adnan al-Khaled aka “Abu Hazem” who was a leader in “Jund al-Aqsa” terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Air Force destroyed dens and gatherings of terrorist organizations in al-Shakosya, Rahjan and al-Bana in Hama countryside.
The Syrian Air Force carried out concentrated airstrikes on hideouts and movements of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization in Dweir al-Akrad, al-Zweitan Mountain, and Kabbana in Lattakia’s northern countryside.
A military source told SANA that the airstrikes resulted in destroying a number of terrorists’ hideouts and vehicles.
Meanwhile, terrorist organizations acknowledged on their social media pages the death of 11 of their members, among them a leader of the “Liwa al-Sultan Abdul-Hamid” terrorist organization, in addition to Zakaraya Abdullah who was the leader of a battalion in the aforementioned organization and Ala’a Sheikh al-Souq.
Units of the army carried out special operations against gatherings of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists.
The army units destroyed gatherings of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists to the north of the bakery, near an-Naziheen Camp, the south of the court and al-Abbara area in Daraa al-Mahata.
The army also eliminated terrorists in al-Arbae’en neighborhood, south of Syriatel building, Gharaz road, al-Kharabat area and the surroundings of the Meteorology building in Daraa al-Balad.
Army units inflicted heavy losses in personnel and munitions upon ranks of the terrorist organizations, particularly ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.
A military source told SANA that army units eliminated gatherings of ISIS terrorists in the surroundings of al-Nairab Camp, Rasm al-Abd, Tal Establ, Tal Ahmar, Jub al-Safa, Aran, al-Sbeihiyeh, Maskaneh, Um Argheleh, al-Rudwaniyeh, and Deir Hafer in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
In the southern countryside of the province, army units inflicted heavy losses in personnel and munitions upon Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and “Ahrar al-Sham movement” in Khan Touman, al-Hweijeneh, Dakwaneh, al-Qanater, and Oram al-Kubra villages.
Meanwhile, other units carried out concentrated operations against ISIS terrorists and the “al-Jabha al-Shamiyeh” in Haiyan, Anadan, al-Mansourah and Dahret Abd Rabou villages in the northern and northwestern countryside of Aleppo, inflicting heavy upon them.
In Aleppo city, army units eliminated hotbeds of terrorist organizations in Bani Zaid, Karm al-Qaterji, and al-Miysar neighborhoods, according to the military source.
A Syrian Arab Army unit destroyed a command center for ISIS terrorists in al-Jafra village 7km southeast of Deir Ezzor city, field sources told SANA.
The sources said that army units station in Deir Ezzor Military Airport directed intensive rocket and artillery fire at hideouts and concentrations of ISIS terrorists east of the airport and in the surroundings of al-Tharda and al-Taim field, which resulted in destroying a tanker full of fuel and several machinegun-equipped vehicles.
In Deir Ezzor city, an army unit carried out a special operation targeting a hotbed of ISIS terrorists in al-Orfi neighborhood, killing a number of terrorists and destroying a 23mm machinegun.