SDF forces capture more ground in Syria’s Tabqa amid ISIS retreat

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Soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take a number of ISIS militants captive subsequent to clashes in western Raqqa. Photo: SDF-MC

ARA News

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have managed since yesterday night to control 6 more neighborhoods in the city of Tabqa in Syria’s northeastern Raqqa province.

The progress came after heavy clashes between SDF units and ISIS militants.

At least 16 jihadist fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) were killed by SDF fire in Tabqa, the Syrian Democratic Forces confirmed in an official statement on Sunday.

“The fighters began a combing campaign for the neighborhoods to ensure the safety of civilians,” the SDF said.

“SDF seized many weapons and a large deal of ammunition from Daesh,” there Kurdish-led SDF said, using another acronym for ISIS.

Supported by the US-led coalition, the SDF troops continued their progress towards downtown in Tabqa, one of key ISIS strongholds in Raqqa province.

Jesper Söder, a Swedish volunteer with the SDF forces, told ARA News that the SDF could soon liberate all of Tabqa from ISIS.

“Overall, the SDF forces control more than 60 per cent of the Tabqa area, and the city is around 50 per cent of that area. We will soon announce the full liberation of Tabqa,” Söder stated.

On 13 April, the Syrian Democratic Forces launched the fourth phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation against Islamic State’s extremists to clear out the northern countryside of Raqqa.

During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, which began on November 6, 2016, the SDF liberated roughly 560 km² in Northern Raqqa.

On 10 December, 2016, the SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath, during which it captured over 2500 km² in Western Raqqa.

On 4 February, 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces launched the third phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, and liberated dozens of villages in Eastern Raqqa from ISIS jihadists.

The campaign is ultimately aimed at isolating the ISIS radical group in its de facto capital Raqqa.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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