Continuing their military offensive after taking the town of Tel Abyad earlier this month, Syrian Kurdish fighters loyal to the YPG attacked and captured the Liwa 93 military base from ISIS, expanding the ISIS has suffered inside the Raqqa Province in recent weeks.
Liwa 93, just down the road from the town of Ayn Issa, was the Syrian military’s last site in the province, before losing it to ISIS last year. Since then, ISIS has had effectively total control of the province, where Raqqa city, their de facto capital, lies.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, one of the main monitors of the fighting, says that the defeat shows ISIS is “collapsing inside its own stronghold.” It was unclear how many casualties there were in the fighting over the base, though YPG officials suggested it was an easy victory for them.
The Kurds appear to be having some PR problems of their own in the area, however, as residents of the overwhelmingly Arab town of Ayn Issa responded to the YPG takeover of the nearby base by fleeing in large numbers deeper into ISIS territory. ISIS seems to be getting a better reputation among Sunni Arabs in and around its territory as the lesser of two evils for them compared to “liberation” by Kurdish or in Iraq Shi’ite forces.
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