US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Wednesday (10 May) captured Syria's Tabqa town from the Isis as part of their campaign to liberate Raqqa from the Islamist jihadists.
SDF, which is an alliance of the Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, said the feat was achieved after more than a month of intense fighting in the region. They added that they received support from air raids conducted by US-led coalition jets.
"Our forces have seized control of both the dam and the city of Tabqa," SDF spokeswoman Jihan Sheikh Ahmed told Al Jazeera on Wednesday. SDF spokesman Talal Silo attributed the Tabqa victory to "the sacrifices of the SDF's heroes" and "the full, unlimited support of the US-led international coalition", Reuters reported.
Brett McGurk, the US' special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter Isis also confirmed the news on Twitter. "Confirmed: Isis defeated in Tabqa Dam and Tabqa City, now in hands of Syrian Democratic Forces, led by its Syrian Arab Coalition. SDF", he wrote.
The development came a day after Pentagon's announcement that President Donald Trump has approved strengthening Kurdish militia fighting under SDF with more arms and equipment to expedite the anti-Isis campaign.
The move has irked Turkey, which considers the Kurds militants. Ankara has urged Washington to take back the decision, but the Pentagon said the move will not endanger Turkey. The Pentagon also insisted that the Kurdish militia was one of their strongest partners on the ground fighting Isis in Iraq and Syria, and the SDF was the closest to retaking Raqqa.
The American forces enabled SDF to launch an attack on Tabqa by conducting airborne landing of the fighters on the southern bank of the Euphrates in late March. This helped the militia gain control of an important nearby airbase in the town.
Simultaneously, Turkish forces have also been engaged in the fight to liberate Raqqa. They are supporting the Syrian government forces.