Syrian Democratic Forces 'take control' of IS-held airbase near Raqqa

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters gather during an offensive against Islamic State militants in northern Raqqa province, Syria, 8 February 2017.

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say they have taken full control of a key airbase held by the Islamic State group near its stronghold, Raqqa.

Talal Sello, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said they had seized Tabqa airport from militants.

It comes as the Kurdish-led fighters advance on Raqqa, IS's self-declared capital.

Earlier IS warned that the nearby Tabqa dam could collapse, sparking panic. However, the dam appears intact.

The US-led coalition fighting the jihadists denied their claims that it had targeted the facility with airstrikes, leaving it dangerously vulnerable to failure.

"The dam has not been structurally damaged to our knowledge and the coalition seeks to preserve the integrity of the dam as a vital resource to the people of Syria," a spokesperson said

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