US-Backed Forces Seize ISIS Town Near Raqqa

Town Includes Key ISIS Base

Kurdish YPG fighters, backed by US special forces and some other allied militias, have captured the town of Ukeirshi, just 10 miles downriver from the ISIS capital city of Raqqa, and a town which contains an ISIS military base and training camp.

It does not appear that the battle for Ukeirshi was much of a fight, as ISIS forces in the general vicinity of Raqqa have generally been brought into the capital city to resist the incursions there, or sent elsewhere to defend other important territory.

Kurdish officials emphasized the use of Ukeirshi in a 2015 purge by ISIS, where they killed scores of their own fighters on charges of desertion or other major violations. This is seen adding to the symbolic nature of the victory over he town.

In reality, however, most of the value is in the continued effort to surround Raqqa, and to limit the ability of ISIS forces to get into or out of the capital as US and Kurdish forces gear up for a protracted siege there.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.