09:06 GMT17 April 2021
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    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) decided to stop the operation in the region of the damaged Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates for four hours, according to official statement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Monday a temporary pause in its advance on the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh, outlawed in Russia) terrorist group's stronghold of Raqqa due to the need to repair the damaged Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates.

    On Sunday, local media reported that the dam partially collapsed as result of the fighting between the SDF and the Daesh. The SDF refuted the information that the dam had collapsed but said the US-led international coalition had conducted numerous strikes against the Daesh in the area.

    "In order to protect the dam on the Euphrates… and at the request of the dam authority, we have decided to stop the operation in the region of the dam for four hours. This is being done to allow an engineer team to pass through and work on the dam," the SDF press service said on its website.

    Fighting is ceasing between 12:00 and 17:00 GMT, according to the statement.

    Tabqa Dam, Syria's largest, was built with Soviet help in the 1970s and functions primarily as a hydropower plant.

    On Sunday, the Kurdish-led SDF pushed the Daesh militants out of the military airport located near the city of Thawrah, which is located just south of the dam. The city is the last big Daesh stronghold on the way to Raqqa, the de-facto Daesh capital in war-torn Syria.

    The Operation Euphrates Rage to retake Raqqa was launched last November by the SDF with the support of the international coalition.


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    Tabqa Dam, Syrian crisis, Daesh, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Syria
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