After capturing dozens of villages in eastern Raqqa over the past week, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) followed up on Tuesday by seizing another 8 villages from collapsing Islamic State forces.
Effectively, the predominately Kurdish SDF were able to impose full control over Budayan, Naflah, Mukhkhah, Bir Qurat, Tal Sha’er, Mastur, Kuwaytar, Qaryat Sukkar and an important pibeline facility in the region.
These villages are located on the provincial border between Raqqa and Deir Ezzor; due to the unprecedented advances that occured on two flanks this morning, ISIS fighters in the villages of Al-Qarah and Bir Abu Tutah may soon face encirclement.
The SDF offensive is heavily supported by US-led coalition airstrikes and represents phase III of the Euphrates Wrath campaign that ultimately looks to expel the Islamic State from Raqqa city itself.
More gains are underway as we speak while ISIS militants appear to be completely retreating from the region without offering much resistance.