DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:25 P.M.) – Heavy clashes embroiled Tabqa on Saturday as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Manbij Military Council (MMC) sped up operations to bring the former Islamic State bastion under Kurdish control.

Some 25 jihadist militants, including two ISIS commanders, were killed amid the urban clashes which saw the SDF seize approximately 25% of the city and move within a few hundred meters of its city center.

On the other hand, 15 Kurdish fighters were killed in an ambush near Tabqa Dam in western Raqqa on Saturday, Amaq Agency claimed. A technical was also destroyed and a Humvee damaged. An additional three SDF fighters were killed by a minefield east of Tabqa yesterday.

Effectively, 388 US-backed SDF troops have been killed or wounded due to the ongoing Tabqa offensive. ISIS is believed to have suffered a similar death toll.

Over 10,000 civilians have escaped Tabqa through humanitarian corridors although many more are still trapped inside the city, raising fears over collateral damage.

Brand new footage from the Tabqa frontier can be found here. A simultaneous YPG-led offensive is also underway in northern Raqqa, securing over a dozen villages this week.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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