US Bombs ISIS-Held Town as Syrian Kurds Try to Advance

Strikes Center on Tabqa, Near Syria's Largest Dam

US warplanes pounded the town of Tabqa, west of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa, over the weekend, aiming to soften up the area as Kurdish forces announce their intention to advance into their area in their latest effort to “surround” Raqqa itself.

Tabqa is a relatively small town near Lake Assad, close to the largest dam in Syria. Videos released after the strike showed substantial damage in the commercial district of the town, but there have as yet been no reports of casualties. US warplanes also attacked and destroyed four bridges in Raqqa itself.

The Kurdish YPG has been trying to advance on Raqqa for months now, an offensive the US insisted would be concurrent with the Iraqi invasion of Mosul. Despite this, the effort to “surround” Raqqa has been of limited success, with only the northern reaches of the city blocked off, and ISIS still controls substantial territory around the city elsewhere, particularly to the east.

In Iraq, ISIS has lost so much territory that they are increasingly transitioning back to an insurgency and away from a territory-holding de facto state. In Syria, however, despite losses in Aleppo Province their territory is largely intact.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of