DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:30 P.M.) – The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) gained new ground inside Tabqa city on Monday as Kurdish troops resumed their operations following the liberation of the Alexandria neighborhood two days ago.
With US choppers increasingly active across Raqqa province, the largely Kurdish SDF advanced roughly 500 meters and seized four locations en route to downtown Tabqa, bringing an estimated 20% of the city under Kurdish control:
20 ISIS militants were killed and a car bomb immobilized amid the urban clashes as the SDF pushed towards Tabqa city centre from its eastern and western flanks. Roughly half the death toll was the result of American aerial sorties, a source told Al-Masdar News.
Meanwhile, 200 fighters of the Aleppo-based Manbij Military Council (MMC) joined the SDF offensive to liberate Raqqa, arriving in rearguard positions earlier today.
Giwara Minbic, the commander-in-chief of the 200 person MMC force, said they joined the operation as a “duty of loyalty”. He added that more MMC fighters would join if deemed necessary and requested by the SDF leadership.
Over a dozen nationalities are present among SDF ranks as many foreign fighters have volunteered in the battle for Tabqa, including militants from France, Canada, China, Sweden, Finland, Japan, the United States, and Bolivia.
Earlier today, the SDF also liberated three villages and four hamlets in northern Raqqa.