SDF Take Control Of Strategic Raqqa-Tabqa Road
Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have taken control of the Raqqa-Tabqa road after fierce fighting with Islamic State (ISIS) militants late Tuesday (March 28) night.
Clashes in the area continued until early Wednesday morning, Firat News Agency reported.
SDF forces recently liberated Tabqa Military Airport and 14 villages during an offensive to liberate the Tabqa region that began several days ago.
However the U.S.-backed Syrian force halted military operations near the hydroelectric Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates River on Monday (March 27) to allow government engineers access to carry out work.
The United Nations warned earlier this year that the dam, Syria’s largest, is at risk of causing catastrophic damage in the area due to high water levels, deliberate sabotage by ISIS and further damage from coalition air strikes.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced this week that they had liberated more than 600 square kilometers from ISIS militants since the third phase of Raqqa operations began.
The third phase looks to surround and isolate the de facto ISIS capital of Raqqa, in anticipation of a push into the city to liberate Raqqa from the jihadist group entirely.
The SDF have been advancing towards Raqqa on three fronts, and while progress has been rapid, some fierce clashes have broken out as ISIS militants look to stem the SDF’s advance.
The SDF, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters who have been successfully fighting ISIS in northern Syria, has been steadily moving in on the jihadist group in Raqqa for the past five months.