The Daily Beast reports: The American military is warning residents of ISIS’s Syrian capital to leave the city—suggesting that an offensive on Raqqa was imminent, two Pentagon officials told the Daily Beast.
In the past day, residents of Raqqa have posted photos of the warnings on Twitter, saying they were airdropped on leaflets by the U.S.-led coalition. The defense officials were the first to confirm that the coalition had indeed issued the warnings.
“The time….has arrived. It’s time to leave Raqqa,” one of the ominous leaflets read. Images portray residents fleeing the black and white world of ISIS for the color of freedom, urging citizens to flee toward colors.
— الرقة تذبح بصمت (@Raqqa_SL) May 19, 2016
There is just one problem: There is no imminent ground or air attack, at least by the U.S.-led coalition. Rather the coalition appears to be the midst of a psychological offensive.
“It’s part of our mess-with-them campaign,” a Pentagon official explained to The Daily Beast.
The leaflets come amid what appears to be something of a panic within ISIS about how long it can maintain its grip on Raqqa. In recent weeks, there were reports that ISIS had declared a state of emergency in Raqqa. And earlier this week, the terror group’s leadership reportedly would not let fighters leave for holiday as ISIS dug trenches around Raqqa, moved headquarters underground, and put coverings over homes in an effort to deflect drone attacks. [Continue reading…]