Tabnak - As the talks are still going on between the Syrian government and the opposition to find a political solution for the six year crisis of the country, developments on the ground seem to have a considerable role in deciding the future of Syria. In this vein, the anti-terrorist operations in Raqqa are of a great importance.
According to the reports published by the local and international media, a US-backed Syrian alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias on Sunday took a military airport in northern Syria held by ISIS, close to the country's largest dam that may be in danger of collapse.
The development is seen as a significant step in the fight to drive the terrorists out of the city, which has become their self-declared capital.
Earlier, SDF spokesman Talal Silo said its fighters had seized "60 to 70 percent" of the airport but were still engaged in intense clashes with the terrorists inside the air base and on its outskirts.
Located near the River Euphrates about 40km (25 miles) west of Raqqa, the facility was seized by ISIS terrorists in August 2014, two months after they proclaimed the creation of a "caliphate". It was also the scene of one of the terrorists' worst atrocities - the mass killing of some 200 Syrian soldiers who were captured while trying to flee.
It should be noted that just yesterday, ISIS ordered residents of Raqqa to evacuate after reports that a nearby dam weakened by US-led coalition airstrikes could collapse. ISIS said air attacks had weakened the Tabqa dam on the Euphrates River, 25 miles (40km) west of Raqqa, and the water level behind it was rising.
Later, the terrorist group reportedly sent cars around Raqqa with loudspeakers, telling people the dam was intact and they had no need to evacuate. The coalition meanwhile insisted the dam had not been targeted at all by air strikes.
On the other hand, the US-led coalition says the dam has been used by ISIS as a headquarters, as a prison for high-profile hostages, as a training location and to plot attacks outside Syria.
Meanwhile, as SDF declared the capture of al-Tabqa airport, additional forces arrived to fight ISIS in al-Tabqa on March 27, according to a video shared by a Kurdish outlet. The forces continued advancing in northeast Syria and said on March 26 they had cut off the main road between Damascus and al-Tabqa.
In parallel with these developments, the Kurdish forces are gradually showing signs of willingness to fully capture the territories they liberate, cutting them off from the realm of the government’s control in the future.
In this vein, Reuters writes that Raqqa is expected to join a decentralized system of government being set up by Syrian Kurdish groups and their allies once it is freed from ISIS.
The main Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, already controls swathes of northern Syria, where Kurdish groups and their allies are working to establish a decentralized system of government in areas captured from Islamic State.
However, the political project is causing deep alarm in Turkey, which sees the YPG and its political affiliate, the PYD, as an extension of Kurdish groups that are fighting an insurgency on Turkish soil. So, it is quite possible that the domination of Kurdish forces on Raqqa further complicates the situation on the ground in the war-torn country.