On March 21, the US-led coalition airdropped hundreds of fighters of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to the area west of Tabqa in a shock attack to cut off the Aleppo-Raqqah road and to capture the ISIS-controlled Tabqa Dam.
“The Coalition conducted an air movement of our Syrian Defense Forces and Syrian Arab Coalition partners to liberate Tabqa dam,” Middle East Eye quoted U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques, refering to US-led coalition forces.
According to CENTCOM, the SDF (predominantly the Kurdish People’s Protection Units) plays a key role in the operation. However, the coalition does not deny the presence of US troops in the area. In other words, the US-led coalition’s ground force spearheaded the operation.
Since the start of the operation, US-led forces have already cut off the Aleppo-Raqqah road and seized the villages of Abu Horaira, Hidaj, Krein, al-Jameen and al-Mushayrifah.
If the US-led coalition forces are able to capture Tabqa, it will be a major step in isolating the ISIS stronghold of Raqqah and will prevent a possibility when Syrian government forces could reach it from the southern direction.