ISIS ENDGAME: ARE ISIS FLEEING RAQQAH?

Female Kurdish soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
There are rumours that ISIS are fleeing from their capital city of Raqqah, amid signs that their Caliphate is finally collapsing. 

Following a battle around the Tabqa Dam on the River Euphrates, there are reports of large numbers of civilians fleeing from ISIS territory to sectors controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Also, some tribesmen in the Raqqah area who were previously aligned with ISIS, now seem to be switching sides

One unconfirmed report said that ISIS was actually pulling out of their capital Raqqah. 

Aircraft from the coalition opposed to ISIS have been dropping leaflets over Raqqah, calling on ISIS fighters to surrender. If ISIS retreat from Raqqah, the only possible direction they can go is down the Euphrates River, towards Iraq, parts of which they still hold. 

Many higher ranking ISIS operatives are believed to be of Iraqi origin. In the event of total defeat, they may wish to return to their own tribal areas, where they can melt back into the general population. 
Is Raqqah about to fall?
Another factor that might prompt ISIS to abandon Raqqah is the threat to their rear from the Syrian army garrison at Deir ez-Zor, a town 100 miles downriver from Raqqah. 

This garrison has been under siege by ISIS forces ever since ISIS took over the East side of Syria, and has been on the defensive. But there are reports that they are now planning a breakout offensive. This suggests that ISIS's grip is weakening in this sector too, pointing towards a general disintegration across a wide area formerly controlled by them.

The next few days should be very interesting. The quicker peace comes to Syria, the sooner the refugees can be sent back to their homes.

 
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