Since the beginning of the second phase of the Euphrates Anger, which is led by YPG and supported by the International Coalition, the attaching forces advanced in Raqqa’s northern west countryside, lately they managed to control several towns in Tabqa’s suburbs: Nafela, Tal Othman, Mazyuneh, Hurriea, Jarnieh, Shams Dien and other towns.
In the last battles, there were not much direct clashes with ISIS forces because attackers depended on airstrikes where international coalition keep striking an area until ISIS fighters retreat, but this strategy led to the killing of several civilians most recent in Tabqa where three children were killed by an airstrike.
In case the attacking forces managed to control Tabqa, ISIS forces in Aleppo’s east countryside will be totally besieged. In this case, the terrorist group has either two scenarios, in the first scenario the terrorist group has to retreat from Aleppo’s eastern countryside and stay in Tabqa trying to face the attacking forces taking advantage of the city nature and the dam but in this case they will be attacked from two fronts, Kurdish forces from North and the regime army from the South. The second scenario, ISIS will leave all the area in a series of withdrawals from eastern Aleppo toward Tabqa and then from Tabqa to Raqqa.
The Syrian regime forces are based in Zakieh, 40 Km far from Tabqa, and the Kurdish forces are only 12 Km far, some statements came out of SDF that if regime forces advanced toward the city then it will be easier to liberate the city.
In a related context, not a single real resistance has been done by the terrorist group, ISIS only booby-trapped the towns because the lands northern Tabqa are all plain and open areas.
Tabqa is one of the most important cities in Raqqa province; it is western Raqqa next to the Euphrates Dam, Syria’s most important dam, and Tabqa Military Airbase which was controlled by ISIS in Summer 2014