This is coolbert:
Once more from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile news letter:
The game is afoot. Planning continues. The ground is being prepared [almost literally so] for the final assault on the ISIL capital city of Raqqa. The head of the snake is going to be cut off!!
1. "US-backed SDF storms N. Syrian air base from ISIS"
"Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance, on Sunday entered the military airport of Tabqa held by the Islamic State militant group in northern Syria, a spokesman said. The alliance is tightening its grip on the vicinity around the ISIS de facto capital in Syria preparatory to launching an assault on the town. This is the second important success of the alliance under US command. Control of Tabqa air base will allow US attack helicopters to land for close air support of the offensive to capture Raqqa."
Air insertion of ground forces!
2. "US-backed SDF pauses attacks near Raqqa to check Tabqa dam"
"Engineers were Tuesday checking the Tabqa dam west of Raqqa to assess damage as a result of US-led coalition air strikes in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces advancing on the ISIS stronghold. After capturing Tabqa air base last week, the SDF is fighting ISIS for control of the dam on the River Euphrates. Its reservoir and hydroelectric power station supply large parts of Syria. The UN has warned that the dam's collapse would cause massive flooding and a humanitarian catastrophe across Raqqa province as far downstream as Deir ez-Zour."