Kurdish forces have successfully defeated Islamic State terrorists in a late Tuesday battle near the jihadi group’s headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. The Kurdish troops’s latest victory comes on the heels of a successful mission last week that saw its YPG-led forces capture a Turkish border town from ISIS, according to reports.
A spokesman for the Kurds told Reuters that his forces have moved within 1km of the center of Ain Issa, another Islamic State-held village. On Tuesday, they seized the Liwa-93 military base from the grasp of jihadist forces, which was taken last year from the Syrian regime.
Their continuing advances have come with “excellent” help from U.S.-air strikes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.
The Kurdish military is now less than 20 miles from Raqqa, Reuters reports.
In order to defeat ISIS in Raqqa, the Kurds would like to see Syrian rebel forces—some of which are fighting alongside the Kurdish YPG units—lead the attack, Saleh Moslem, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), said Wednesday.
“We spoke to the YPG leadership. They don’t have a plan toward Raqqa so far. This is linked to the revolutionary forces in Raqqa,” Moslem told Reuters Wednesday.
“When they are ready to free Raqqa, to liberate it, perhaps the YPG will decide to support them. But the YPG have not made a decision in this regard so far,” he added.
Additionally, ISIS militants have “begun digging trenches in the vicinity of Raqqa to improve their defenses” and have been shipping in tons of weapons and ammo to defend Raqqa from its adversaries, according to reports from Kurdish leaders and anti-regime activists on the ground in Syria.