Sunday, June 5, 2016

ISIS feeling the heat as regime, Kurdish forces advance on Raqqa

Kurdish YPG fighters battle ISIS in Syria (file)
Kurdish YPG fighters battle ISIS in Syria (file)
(AFP) Russian-backed Syrian troops pushed into the Islamic State group's bastion province Raqqa Saturday, threatening to catch the jihadists in a pincer movement as US-backed Kurdish-led fighters advance from the north.
The lightning advance from the southwest with Russian air support brought the army to within dozens of kilometers  of the Euphrates Valley town of Tabqa, site of the country's biggest dam, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said.

The dam, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) upstream from the jihadists' de facto Syrian capital Raqqa city, is also the target of the Washington-backed offensive which Kurdish-led fighters launched late last month.

It was the first time that regime troops had entered Raqqa province since they were ousted by ISIS in August 2014.

Regular army troops were backed by militia newly trained by the regime's ally Russia, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.  READ MORE