Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as (YPG), gained on Monday more ground from the ISIS-held territories in northern Syria, posing a real threat to the group’s de facto capital of Al-Raqqa.
The Kurds, backed by the US-coalition airstrikes and some minor rebel groups (namely Borkan Al-Furat “The Volcano of Euphrates”), took over Brigade 93, and later stormed the town of Ayn Issa located nearly 50 km to the north of Al-Raqqa.
The once Syrian Army stronghold fell to ISIS in August 2014 when the group’s wide-scale offensive swept the northern province of Al-Raqqa and seized large swathes including, Division 17 and Al-Tabqa airbase.
The rapid advance sparked disputes among ISIS’ high-ranking security officials and raised questions on the group’s true potentials compared to the propaganda it advertises.
The YPG has recently expelled ISIS from the bordering town of Tal Abyad; a victory that alarmed Turkish authorities on the Kurds’ recent sway along the borders.
Syria’s Kurds claim they are not seeking an independent state, but clings –at the same time- to regional autonomy. Kurds-populated areas in northern and northeastern Syria are currently run by the Kurdish administration.
Having taken over Tal Abyad, the Kurdish militia discovered a 400-meter long tunnel leading to Turkey, who has served as the main access point to
Islamic fighters willing to fight the Syrian government.