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The New Arab

Kurdish fighters 'negotiating with IS' to withdraw from Tabqa

A fighter tears down an Islamic State flag in the Syrian town of Tabqa [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 May, 2017

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The negotiations are being conducted through intermediaries and dignitaries, in order for IS to retreat from the first, second and third neighbourhoods of Tabqa.

Kurdish fighters are negotiating with Islamic State [IS] militants to withdraw from the Syrian town of Tabqa, local sources told The New Arab on Tuesday.

The negotiations are being conducted through intermediaries and dignitaries, in order for IS to retreat from the first, second and third neighbourhoods of Tabqa, along with retreating from the dam area.

Kurdish fighters are discussing conditions of IS relocating to Al-Shaykh Maskin, situated in the countryside of Aleppo, or to another neighbourhood within the countryside of Raqqa. 

No agreement has been reached as of yet.

This comes after Syrian Democratic Forces fighters announced that they had captured 80 percent of Syria's Tabqa from IS late Monday, as they reach forward towards capturing the Tabqa dam, Syria’s largest dam and edge towards capturing Raqqa city.

Tabqa is known for being a strategic town as it sits on a supply route about 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of Raqqa city, an IS stronghold and often referred to as the militant group’s ‘capital city’.

The assault on Tabqa began in late March when SDF forces and their US-led coalition allies were airlifted behind IS lines.

The SDF – composed of Arab and Kurdish fighters – then surrounded Tabqa in early April before pushing into the town on April 24.

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