Kurdish-led forces liberate 50 villages
KOBANI, Syria (K24) - On Friday, December 25, a Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) offensive against the Islamic State (IS) liberated 52 villages south to the town of Kobani, in Raqqa province, a K24 correspondent embedded with the SDF reported.
The IS did not show much resistance in the Kurdish and Arab villages to the ease of the Tishrin Dam Lake that were under its control for more than a year and a half, a K24 reporter said, adding that the American-backed SDF came some five kilometers close to the dam approximately 100 kilometers south of Kobani.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)-led SDF is a coalition of Kurdish, secular Arab, and Christian Assyrian groups fighting mainly the Islamic State group. The SDF killed at least seven IS militants during the offensive that began on Wednesday. No SDF casualties were reported.
Kurdish Firat News Agency reported Saturday the control of the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates River by SDF fighters, as well as the capture of 13 IS militants hiding in the village of Denedewshan.
By controlling the road M4 that passes over the Tishrin dam and connects the town of Manbij—30 kilometers to the west of the Euphrates River—with the city of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the IS Kaliphate 100 kilometers to the southeast, the Kurdish forces and allies were effectively able to isolate the IS group.
Press releases Saturday and Friday by the U.S. military Combined Joint Task Force on Facebook said warplanes of the Anti-IS International Coalition conducted eight airstrikes in total on December 24, and 25 near Manbij, without specifying whether those were in support of the SDF.
(Ridwan Bezar contributed to this report from Southern Kobani)