With the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) advancing rapidly through the Maskanah Plains and reaching the fringes of Raqqa province, Kurdish-led contingents scored a series of important advances in the Tabqa region on Sunday evening, aimed at preventing a government offensive into rural Raqqa.
Pushing through the desert southeast of Tabqa Airbase, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Manbij Military Council (MMC) took full control over the villages of Bir Akhu Hadlah, Bir Hajj al-Mufazi and Bir al-David after clashes with ISIS militants.
Meanwhile, US allies also swept like an avalanche through key sites east of Tabqa city, thereby seizing control of Hindah Train Station, Sadcob Fuel Company and Hindah Grain Silos, three imperative sites located on the M4-highway leading to Raqqa city.
The Kurdish advance represents a major obstacle for the SAA to reach Raqqa city, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State.
In related news, 600 recruits signed up to join the Euphrates Wrath offensive over the weekend. This represents the single largest batch of new fighters to join the SDF in 2017 and suggests it may be winning popularity in northern Syria.
A mass grave was also uncovered in the Tabqa region, believed to hold the corpses of SAA soldiers executed by ISIS after the siege of Tabqa Airbase in 2014.