US-led coalition warplanes have dropped leaflets showing dead jihadists into Islamic State’s Syrian stronghold and warned those below that “freedom will come”, activists claim.
Warplanes also carried out 16 air strikes in Iraq and nine in Syria over the weekend, the US military said. The missions were part of a sustained campaign that has seen heavy strikes conducted near five Syrian cities, including five near Raqqa – Isis’s de-facto capital - and four near Hasaka in north-eastern Syria.
Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered, the anti-Isis activist group operating in Raqqa, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the leaflets contained drawings showing dead extremists and their flag turned upside down.
Four fighters with the main Kurdish militia YPG, walked down a street in the picture, with two words in Arabic below translated as "Freedom will come".
There was no immediate response from the US government about the leafleting campaign, but the tactic is often used to try and claw a psychological advantage over an enemy or spread awareness to civilians in a warzone. Previous leaflets distributed by the coalition have included cartoons showing masked Isis fighters at a “hiring office” feeding people into a meat grinder.
The development came as David Cameron gave another hint that he could soon seek Parliament's approval to extend UK military air strikes from Iraq into Syria, telling a US television network he wanted Britain to "step up and do more" to "destroy this caliphate". In remarks made to NBC News, Mr Cameron said Britain must do more fight the group.
“We know that we have to defeat Isil (Isis), we have to destroy this caliphate, whether it is in Iraq or in Syria," he said. "That is a key part of defeating this terrorist scourge that we face."
But concerns have been raised after the revelation that RAF pilots embedded with US forces took part in bombing raids over Syria despite MPs having voted against Britain carrying out strikes in the country. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is expected to face hostile questioning in the Commons over the non-disclosure of the missions which Downing Street said Mr Cameron was aware of.
In a separate development, Isis fighters gave internet cafes in Raqaa four days to stop offering wireless connections to nearby homes, activists said. The move comes two weeks after extremists released a video purporting to show the killing of two Syrian men in Raqqa, allegedly for spying.
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