The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
US-backed fighters deny Syria dam at risk of collapse Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

US-backed fighters deny Syria dam at risk of collapse

The SDF is battling to take Tabqa dam and town [‎Combined Joint Task Force]

Date of publication: 27 March, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
US-backed Kurdish-Arab forces in Syria have denied reports that a dam in the north of the country held by the Islamic State group is at risk of a catastrophic collapse.

US-backed Kurdish-Arab forces in Syria have denied reports that a dam in northern Syria held by the Islamic State group is at risk of a catastrophic collapse.

A Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman said on Sunday that the ongoing clashes at Tabqa dam have not damaged the water barrier's structure as the Syrian Kurdish forces captured the strategically important Tabqa airbase.

The SDF is battling to take Tabqa dam and nearby Tabqa town from IS before advancing on the group's de facto Syrian capital Raqqa.

"There have recently been rumours and fake news spread by IS' media and pro-IS media. This has come because of pressure our forces and international coalition have put on the group in Tabqa," Sello said in a statement.

"The Tabqa dam is a national construction and our forces have been extremely careful while liberating it to keep it safe," he said.

Sello added the coalition has not conducted airstrikes near the dam's structure, avoiding this by carrying out airdrops of fighters.

The Combined Joint Task Force also said that it was taking every precaution to ensure the dam's integrity.


"We do not assess the dam to be in imminent danger unless IS plans to destroy it," it said in a statement.

"The SDF are in control of a spillway north of the dam that provides water to an irrigation reclamation canal which can be used to alleviate pressure on the dam if need be."

It added that the dam has not been structurally damaged and that it had not been targeted with air raids.

IS has issued warnings through its propaganda agency Amaq that the dam "is threatened with collapse at any moment because of American strikes and a large rise in water levels".

Civilians began fleeing on Sunday after IS militants announced via loud speakers that dam was on the verge of collapse, according to the activist-run Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

The local media outlet released footage of panicked civilians escaping Raqqa following the IS announcement.

SDF fighters on Sunday seized the Tabqa military airport from IS after entering the airbase backed by heavy artillery fire and air raids by the US-led coalition.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More