Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers arrived at Syrian Democratic Forces areas in Raqqa to check al-Tabqa Dam, and to evaluate damage from fighting around the dam, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The activist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS), said two engineers working in an Islamic State-held part of the dam were killed while lifting the gate to avoid its collapse. RIBSS and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights suggested US-led coalition forces targeted the engineers and killed them.
The Syrian Democratic Forces released a statement on March 27 saying they had ceased operations for four hours around the dam to allow engineers to work.
Fighting in the area between US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State reportedly has put the dam, in use as an IS base, at risk. The US military said the dam had not been structurally damaged during the fighting, while Islamic State-affiliated Amaq News video shows damage. It is not clear if this amounts to “structural” damage, or whether it is merely superficial or confined to non-essential areas.
This video was shared by pro-opposition media and is described as showing a Red Crescent team visiting al-Tabada Dam in Raqqa province. The speakers in the video say that the dam is out of service but it is not at risk. Credit: YouTube/Smart News via Storyful