According to local sources from the city of Tabqa, ISIS informed civilians in the city of its desire to withdraw to avoid Tabqa’s destruction by US-led coalition airstrikes.
A social media account affiliated with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have also published a statement in what appears to be a justification for this possibility.
— قوات سوريا من الجبهة (@QSD_Jabha) April 21, 2017
Thus, the SDF supported by “the US-led international coalition against ISIS” will likely allow ISIS terrorists to withdraw from Tabqah without clashes.
This would allow ISIS to deploy its fighters to other fronts (likely against Syrian government forces) as it had happened earlier. The SDF allowed the terrorist group to withdraw from Manbij in 2016 and ISIS used these forces to attack government forces across Syria.
In the morning on April 22, the SDF attempted advancing on Tabqa from the northern direction, through the Euphrates Dam, despite warnings from various parties that the dam should be non-military zone.
Meanwhile, clashes continued in the Al-Alam roundabout in the southwestern part of Tabqa where the SDF didn’t make gains.
Separately, the US-led coalition’s warplanes once again bombed ISIS positions in Tabqah, Shwaib al-Zakr and Dbsi Afnan in the western Raqqa countryside.
According to opposition sources, ISIS executed a civilian accused of working for the US-led coalition in Tabqa.