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Published On: Thu, May 11th, 2017

Tabqa Dam fully liberated from ISIS: Syrian Democratic Forces

nsnbc : The Syrian Democratic Forces announced that they fully liberated the Tabqa Dam near the cities of Tabqa and Raqqa in northeastern Syria from ISIS. YPG and Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) members dually comprise the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the US-led international coalition has been supporting in the fight against ISIS.

Photo courtesy Mohamed7799 CC 4.0

Photo courtesy Mohamed7799 CC 4.0

The YPG announced the liberation of the Dam using Twitter on Wednesday, stating  “Syrian Democratic Forces have fully liberated Tabqah Dam. Security operations continue in the area.”

SDF spokesman Talal Silo, who said his ” forces ‘achieved victory and completely liberated Tabqa city and the dam.’ Combing operations [are] ongoing.”  The SDF later formally announced its celebrations after recapturing Tabqa in a tweet.

The declaration came a day after the US Defense Department announced it had been authorized to further arm Kurdish YPG fighters in northern Syria ahead of the offensive to retake Raqqa.

The Coalition had announced earlier on Wednesday that a few neighborhoods in Tabqa still contained ISIS resistance.

Photo courtesy SDF

Photo courtesy SDF

The decision by the United States to directly support the traditionally PKK allied and more or less overtly Syrian – Russian backed YPG indicates, according to many independent analysts, a growing US – Russian – Syrian consensus about the conflict in Syria.

“SDF and [the] Syrian Arab Coalition have successfully liberated the vast majority of Tabqah and continue to clear the final two neighborhoods,” wrote the Coalition’s spokesperson US Col. John Dorrian in a tweet.

The city of Tabqa is located upstream the Euphrates river from the ISIS capital Raqqa. A push to dislodge ISIS from Raqqa has been considered as extremely dangerous as long as pockets of ISIS fighters still controlled the Tabqa Dam located at the Euphrates and Lake Assad.

An air field is also located south of the city, which the SDF took control on March 27. The securing of Tabqa is seen as one of the final hurdles prior to commencing operations to retake ISIS’s de facto capital city of Raqqa, and now without the threat that ISIS blasts the dam and causes a catastrophic dam failure and flood.

CH/L – nsnbc 11.05.2017

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