DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:00 P.M.) – US allies are making significant territorial progress on the outskirts of the Islamic State capital as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) annihilated two ISIS enclaves in the countryside of Raqqa on Wednesday.
Targeting an isolated ISIS-held area on the Euphrates River between Taqba and Raqqa, the SDF – backed by the Manbij Military Council – were able to impose full control over Kudayran and the Yamamah farms. Subsequently, Kurdish forces have now set their eyes on the strategic Baath dam, a prize Kurdish troops have fire control over.
United States airpower is playing on important role in clearing the way for rapid Kurdish ground advances. Below, a SDF commander can be seen calling in an airstrike on a suspected ISIS position at the Baath dam which is clearly visible:
On the southeastern Raqqa axis, the SDF also managed to wrestle control over the river village of Hamrat Balasim which was cutoff from the Islamic State mainland over the weekend by the US-backed blitz offensive, dubbed Euphrates Wrath.
On the other hand, ISIS insurgents launched a localized counter-attack on Maisalun some 10 kilometers north of Raqqa and retook parts of the contested village.