US-Backed Fighters Surround ISIS in Key Syrian City Near Raqqa

US-backed forces, with the support of barrages of American airstrikes, have isolated the key Syrian city of Tabqa on their way to seize Raqqa. The US-led coalition said Wednesday that ISIS forces are completely “isolated” in the city, though “their tactics continue to create incalculable human suffering,” said Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. More than 30,000 people have been displaced since the battle started in late March, Dorrian said. After this city is taken, US-backed forces will move toward isolating the ISIS capital of Raqqa. In that city, US and coalition aircraft have targeted ISIS infrastructure, including boats and barges. On Monday, coalition aircraft destroyed 13 boats. “As always we see these enemy gatherings and, using these kind of resources to counter our partners, those resources will be removed from the picture as expeditiously as possible through coalition strikes,” Dorrian said. Aircraft have watched ISIS sabotaging infrastructure, including blocking river flow, to slow the advance.