Spillways at the Tabqa Dam in Syria are working normally after engineers managed to carry out repairs, a local alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias said on Wednesday, despite shelling by Islamic State that temporarily halted their work.

A media official with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia bloc said repairs continued after the shelling incident, witnessed by Reuters, and the spillways were now functioning normally.

The dam is a major strategic objective of the SDF’s U.S.-backed campaign to isolate and capture the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa, some 40 km (25 miles) to the east.

The SDF began an assault to capture it last week after the coalition landed some of its fighters on the southern side of the Euphrates near Tabqa, leading to its capture of an air base on Sunday. On Wednesday they cut the road from Tabqa to Raqqa, the SDF said.

Islamic State and the Syrian government both said on Sunday that the hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates river was vulnerable to collapse after air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition fighting the militants in the country’s north.


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