Raqqa – Supported by the US-led coalition’s air cover, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) expelled Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants from the strategic town of Suwaydiya in western Raqqa, as part of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, officials confirmed on Sunday.
The SDF started to clear the town from ISIS leftovers and landmines.
Abdullah al-Ahmadi, an SDF officer, told ARA News that their forces closed in on Tabqa Dam. “Our forces today liberated the Suwaydiya town from ISIS. We are currently approaching the strategic Tabqa Dam.”
“Soon we’ll attack ISIS at the key dam in order to cut off a main ISIS supply line between the town of Tabqa and Raqqa city,” al-Ahmadi said.
Khaled Hussein, an SDF fighter, also confirmed the route. “We are now very close to taking the Tabqa Dam from ISIS,” he told ARA News.
“The Syrian Democratic Forces, YPG and YPJ are prepared to storm the dam and liberate it from ISIS,” Hussein said.
Islamic State’s militants have been using car bombs, IEDs and landmines in a bid to impede the SDF advance towards the group’s de facto capital city of Raqqa. ISIS has also launched several attempts to infiltrate into SDF-held areas in Raqqa countryside.
The group has further planted hundreds of landmines in villages and along main roads that lead to Raqqa city.
The SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation on 10 December. SDF leaders announced that they’ve so far cleared over 2500 square kilometres of land as part of the campaign.