WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — - The Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia) has attempted to bait the US-led coalition into damaging the Tabqa dam in the vicinity of the Syrian city of Raqqa, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Joseph Scrocca told Sputnik on Friday.
"ISIS [Islamic State] is using this location, which is critical to the population of Syria, as a fighting position seemingly in an attempt to bait the Coalition into damaging the dam," Scrocca said.
Local media reported on Sunday that the Tabqa dam had been damaged, taking its electricity generators off line and prompting fears that the dam had been structurally weakened by US airstrikes. However, Red Crescent volunteer engineers, who went to inspect the dam on Monday, found no structural damage.
The spokesperson explained that the technique matches the group’s recent narrative that destruction of the dam is imminent and flooding can occur.
"The Coalition and the SDF [Syrian Democratic Force] take every precaution to safe guard the integrity of the Tabqah Dam," Scrocca stated.
On March 22, the coalition supported air assault of the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) and Syrian Arab Coalition partners in the operation to liberate the dam.
Operation Inherent Resolve has said liberation of Tabqa is critical for the offensive on Raqqa.