Middle East WATCH: YPG-led forces shoot down IS drones near Raqqa

WATCH: YPG-led forces shoot down IS drones near Raqqa
A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter crosses the Euphrates River south to join the offensive launched for retaking the town of Tabqa, Raqqa Province, Syria, April 09, 2017. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

TABQA, Syria (Kurdistan24) – The US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian alliance forces on Monday said they had repelled several counter attacks by Islamic State (IS) insurgents west of their stronghold of Raqqa.

Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Kurdistan24 they opened a corridor through the Euphrates River for the transfer of troops from the north bank to the south.

Kurdistan24 learned from SDF commanders the latest batch which crossed the river contained about 250 fighters.

“We are fighting to free our people from terrorism,” said Nuhilat, an SDF fighter, pointing out they crossed the river to join the campaign launched for liberating Tabqa.

Additionally, Nuhilat said they also transported weapons, ammunition, and war equipment to the southern bank of the river.

They use small boats for carrying the fighters and weaponry.

Last week, the IS insurgents attempted to launch counter attacks against SDF units on the southern side of the river, especially the area where the boats anchor.

The insurgents used drones containing explosives, but the SDF fighters said they repelled the attacks and shot down about 15 drones belonging to IS.

Earlier, the SDF launched an offensive on the Tabqa dam after a group of their fighters were airdropped by a US-led coalition aircraft near the town of Tabqa, some 60 kilometers (40 miles), west of Raqqa.

Two weeks ago, the SDF took full control of a strategic air base near the town of Tabqa on the Euphrates River.

Tabqa airbase is the second one held by the SDF after the liberation of Mengh airfield north of Aleppo last year.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

(Additional reporting by Kurdistan24 correspondent Redwan Bezar)

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