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Syria’s Biggest Dam Partially Collapses Due to SDF-ISIL Fight near Raqqa

27 March 2017 23:42

 

Media sources said that Syria’s largest al-Tabaqa Dam over the Euphrates River partially has collapsed as a result of heavy fighting between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and ISIL near the city of Raqqa.

The Lebanese broadcaster Al-Mayadeen quoted a source as saying that the al-Tabaqa Dam, which functions primarily as a hydropower plant, suspended service after its control center was damaged by what could have been an airstrike or shelling, adding that technical experts could not reach the site due to continued fighting in the area.

The SDF forces, deployed up to four kilometers (approximately 2.5 miles) away from the dam, plan to seize the city of Tabaqa, which is the last major ISIL stronghold on the way to Raqqa, the de facto ISIL capital in Syria.

The SDF are not in a rush to storm the hydropower plant, fearing that the terrorists could blow it up, according to the broadcaster.

The al-Tabaqa Dam was built in 1970s with the help of Soviet experts to create Lake Assad, Syria’s biggest reservoir, and to generate hydroelectric power.

Jeihan Sheikh Ahmad, the spokesman for anti-ISIL Euphrates Rage Operation, said on Saturday that the SDF forces arrived in the strategic al-Tabaqa dam after heavy clashes with the ISIL militants in the Western parts of Raqqa.

They continued to advance in the region and gained control of 8 villages and a large number of farms in the Western coasts of the Euphrates River after killing and wounding tens of ISIL terrorists.

Other sources also reported that the SDF forces have started offensives against the ISIL in al-Tabaqa city.

Meantime, Talal Salou, the SDF forces’ spokesman, said that the army forces can also join the operations to liberate Raqqa.

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