‘Big advance’ achieved against ISIS in Syria’s Tabqa, says SDF

‘Big advance’ achieved against ISIS in Syria’s Tabqa, says SDF
4 years ago

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SULAIMANI —The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Sunday (April 30) they had made a “big advance” against the Islamic State (ISIS) in the key town of Tabqa near the jihadist bastion of Raqqa in northern Syria.

The SDF said in a statement it had captured six more districts of Tabqa as part of their offensive to secure Raqqa, displaying a map which showed only the northern part of the town to be under ISIS control, next to Syria’s largest dam.

The SDF has taken control of at least 40 percent of the town of Tabqa in its advance and more than half of the heart of the town, according to the U.K. based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The SDF entered the city of Tabqa on April 15, moving in on the center from the east and west of the city, securing arms, ammunition and pick-up trucks from the militants.

The SDF, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters who have been successfully fighting ISIS in northern Syria, have been moving on Tabqa city for some weeks as part of a broader offensive to liberate ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa from the militant group.

Thousands have fled Tabqa since the second half of March, arriving at SDF-held positions where they have sought shelter.

The SDF announced the capture of the nearby Tabqa airport on April 10.

With air strikes and special ground forces from the U.S.-led coalition, the SDF has been advancing on Raqqa city from the north, east and west and announced on April 13 the beginning of the fourth phase of the offensive to oust ISIS from the Syrian city.