Middle East

US-backed SDF recaptures Tabqa near Raqqah from Daesh

The SDF, an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, on Wednesday recaptured the city, which sits on the Euphrates River and on a strategic supply route about 55 kilometers west of Raqqah, Daesh’s stronghold in Syria.

SDF spokesman, Talal Sello, told AFP that the forces had “achieved victory and completely liberated the city and the dam.”

Rami Abdel Rahman of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed the development.

Both the dam and the city are under the control of the joint force, according to the monitoring group.

The SDF had been fighting Daesh in Tabqa, as part of the “Wrath of the Euphrates” operation, which was launched in November 2016.

The recapturing of Tabqa comes ahead of a broader offensive for Raqqah, which fell to the terrorists in March 2013.

Syria has been battling foreign-backed militancy since March 2013. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.

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