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US Central Command: ISIS surrenders control of key Syrian city of Tabqah
U.S. Central Command announced Thursday that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish and Arab force, recaptured the key Syrian city of Tabqah, the Tabqah Dam and a nearby airfield from the Islamic State, continuing to weaken ISIS’s control of territory and people.
The successful recapture of Tabqah, located roughly 30 miles west of ISIS stronghold Raqqa, denies the terrorists “a key coordination hub” that had been used by the group since 2013 to plan attacks on the West. Tabqah served as a base for planning such attacks after ISIS lost other territories in northern Syria.
According to the statement from U.S. Central Command, 70 ISIS terrorists surrendered to the U.S.-led international coalition Wednesday, and left heavy weapons behind them.
Coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian said the recapture of Tabqah is “yet another victory” for the Kurdish-led forces, the U.S.’s most effective partner on the ground fighting ISIS in Syria.
“The SDF's success against ISIS demonstrates the power of working by, with and through local partner forces fighting ISIS, among their own people, in their own territory," Dorrian said in the U.S. Central Command statement. "The SDF, fighting to liberate their own people and lands, have freed more than 8,000 square kilometers of Syria from ISIS since November."