Kurdish-led SDF troops hit ISIS security headquarters near Tabqa, at least 16 jihadists killed

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Western coalition's warplanes hit ISIS positions south of Hasakah. File photo

ARA News

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Saturday continued their military operations against Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants in the vicinity of Tabqa, in Syria’s northeastern Raqqa province.

The SDF media office told ARA News that their forces shelled ISIS security headquarters to the east of Tabqa town.

At least 16 ISIS militants were killed and dozens were wounded under SDF fire on Saturday.

“We were able to destroy five ISIS vehicles and seize light weapons and a large deal of ammunition after the group evacuated the targeted area,” SDF officer Habun Osman told ARA News.

In the meantime, clashes broke out between the Syrian Democratic Forces and ISIS in the village of Hadaj west of Tabqa.

“The clashes took place after ISIS targeted an SDF checkpoint with mortar shells,” a local media activist reported. “The SDF was eventually able to repel the attack and prevent ISIS’ progress,” he confirmed to ARA News.

Noteworthy, hundreds of ISIS jihadists have escaped Raqqa since the US-backed SDF troops launched a major operation to isolate and eventually liberate Raqqa city from the radical group last November.

This comes as part of the third phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, aimed at liberating Eastern Raqqa from ISIS jihadists, launched by the SDF on 4 February.

During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, which began on November 6, 2016, the SDF liberated roughly 560 km² in Northern Raqqa.

On 10 December, the SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath, during which it captured over 2500 km² in Western Raqqa.

The campaign is ultimately aimed at isolating the ISIS radical group in its de facto capital.

Reporting by: Dilber Issa | Source: ARA News

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