Syrian Democratic Forces attack ISIS-held airbase

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Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in western Raqqa. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (ISIS) on Sunday launched an offensive on the ISIS-held Tabqa Airbase in Raqqa countryside, in northeastern Syria.

Backed by the US-led coalition, the SDF troops targeted ISIS positions inside the airbase with heavy artillery shelling.

“The bombardment forced a large number of ISIS militants to evacuate their posts inside the airbase,” SDF officer Habun Osman told ARA News.

The official added that the SDF has taken control of several parts of the Tabqa Airbase.

“The clashes are still ongoing, but soon the airbase will be fully liberated from ISIS terrorists,” Osman said.

In the meantime, hundreds of civilians started to evacuate Raqqa amidst concerns over the stability of the nearby Tabqa Dam.

The SDF launched a multi-pronged offensive behind enemy lines on Wednesday to liberate the Tabqa Dam from ISIS. Apache helicopters, U.S. Marine artillery and special operation troops were part of this operation to drop SDF fighters near Tabqa.

Seizing Tabqa’s airbase and dam will give the SDF the strategic advantage and launching point needed for the liberation of the city. The area is critical to ISIS’s ability to import and harbor foreign fighters, export terror, and is ISIS’s last link to territory west of the Euphrates.

Tabqah Dam has been used as an ISIS headquarters, a prison for high-profile hostages, a training location, and for external terror plotting since ISIS took control of the location in 2013.

 

Reporting by: Helin Saeed | Source: ARA News

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