(Zaman Al Wasl)- The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces, advanced on Sunday to the area surrounding the town of al-Karama in al-Raqqah countryside while the Islamic State forces announced they killed ten members of the SDF east of al-Karama.
The PYD announced on its official website that the SDF took control of a large part of the town of al-Karama amid violent clashes with the Islamic State forces.
Confrontations between the sides continue in the eastern side of the town.
Kurdish sources confirmed that the attack which began on Saturday on the most strategic town in al-Raqqah’s eastern countryside. The town is 20 kilometers from al-Raqqah city, and it is the point of divergence for roads headings towards Deir Ez Zor and al-Hasakeh.
Violent clashes erupted in the area around the village of al-Hus east of al-Karama on Saturday when the Islamic State forces attacked the area controlled by the SDF since March 12, 2017. According to local sources, the Islamic State forces launched the attack from villages under their control in the eastern districts around al-Karama including al-Baldiyeh, al-Beyder (Fatiset Birm), al-Ismailiyah (Fatiset Abd al-Ismail), al-Ghasaniyet, and Jedidet Khabur.
According to local sources, it is the fourth attack of its kind on the town since the SDF backed by the United States took control of it. The town’s importance stems from its location as a connecting point between al-Shamiyah and al-Jizera on the Euphrates River via the al-Moughlaka Bridge.
The Islamic State forces released a statement saying its forces attacked a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) (a reference to the Syrian PYD branch) location around al-Hus killing ten members and capturing two.
Meanwhile, International Coalition airplanes launched air strikes on the confrontation areas and the Islamic State supply routes to the cities of al-Raqqah and al-Tabqah. The strikes came as the Islamic State forces and the American forces exchanged artillery and missile fire close in the area of Tel al-Samen in northern al-Raqqah according to activists.
The SDF, supported by the International Coalition, took control of vast areas in the western, northern, and eastern countryside of al-Raqqah during the Euphrates Wrath campaign which began on November 06, 2016.