Syrian Democratic Forces, Northern Raqqa Offensive (Nov 2016-2017), 12 Dec 2016, Voice of America

ISIS Close to Defeat in Tabqa, Syria

Most of Tabqa Under Syrian Democratic Forces Control

In Syria, the area in and around the town of Tabqah remains the focus of effort in the coalition campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also ISIL, Islamic State, Daesh), U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, director of Pentagon press operations, told reporters Friday, May 5.

As of this morning, Davies announced, more than 80 percent of Tabqa has been cleared of Islamic State terrorists. ISIS still controls the Tabqa Dam, “but it’s doing so right now hanging on by a thread, in terms of their ability to control,” Davis added.

“We’re ferrying Syrian Democratic Forces across the river and bringing them in by air, [which] has made considerable progress in first isolating and now liberating Tabqah,” he said.

“Tabqa and Tabqa dam are two of the final elements required to isolate Raqqa,” he said, adding it is very difficult for ISIS fighters get across the Euphrates River, and its bridges in Raqqa have been taken out.

“And the SDF now controls [land] up the river banks to Raqqa,” he said.

As the SDF encircles the dam, coalition forces can continue to monitor the water level and the infrastructure security to prevent ISIS from threatening Syrians throughout the Raqqa valley, he said.

“We continue to support our partners’ operations to isolate Raqqa and have conducted dozens of successful strikes in the past week against ISIS fighting positions and weapons systems,” Davis said.

Source: US Department of Defense

Photo: Syrian Democratic Forces, Northern Raqqa Offensive (Nov 2016-2017), 12 Dec 2016, Voice of America.

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