While holding off the Kurdish YPG in their capital city of Raqqa, ISIS had been losing ground to Syrian government forces elsewhere in the Raqqa Province. They may be turning the tide Friday, however, having expelled Syrian forces from the town of Maadan.
After heavy fighting, with 34 Syrian troops and 12 ISIS killed, ISIS retook Maadan and, in the process, also took control of a number of nearby villages, effectively controlling a 30 km region that the Syrian military had all but completely recovered.
Maadan is particularly strategically valuable because it is on the main highway into Deir Ezzor Province, and if the Syrian government controlled it they’d have a straight shot into the oil-rich province, which remains overwhelmingly in ISIS hands.
ISIS is bragging about this victory as a fairly decisive one, bragging that it sets back Syria substantially. While it does set back Syrian forces somewhat, they still control most of southern Raqqa Province, however, and are likely viewing this as a temporary setback.
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