US-backed fighters forces captured more territory from ISIL in the northern Syrian town of Tabqa on Monday, pushing the extremists into northern neighbourhoods close to one of the country’s largest dams.
“Daesh is retreating from most of Tabqa’s neighbourhoods,” said Brig Gen Hussam Al Awwak, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). “Daesh fighters are almost finished in Taqba.”
The SDF is the most effective ground force battling ISIL in Syria and will most likely lead the offensive to capture Raqqa in the near future.
The Kurdish-led group said on Monday that its fighters had captured three more neighborhoods in Tabqa, where they have been advancing since mid-April.
The Observatory said SDF fighters now control some 80 per cent of Tabqa. It said 35 ISIL members have been killed there since Sunday.
A US airlift of artillery and special forces advisers that placed SDF fighters behind ISIL lines in March was a turning point in the Tabqa offensive.
Nato member Turkey carried out strikes against the YPG last week, killing at least 20 fighters. Ankara views the group as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency in south-eastern Turkey and has threatened further military action.
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