A displaced Syrian girl, who fled their hometowns due to clashes between regime forces and the Islamic State (IS) group, looks towards the camera in Kharufiyah, 18 kilometres south of Manbij, on March 4, 2017. AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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Syrian farmers near the Euphrates River are terrified Daesh (ISIS) will literally open the floodgates to defend its stronghold Raqqa, drowning their tiny villages in the process.Water levels of the Euphrates, which snakes down through northern Syria and east into Iraq, have shot up over the past month near the militant group's de facto capital, Raqqa city.Residents of the modest farming villages scattered on the river's eastern bank say they are afraid the militants will destroy the Tabqa dam, Syria's largest, to slow advancing anti-Daesh forces."If [Daesh] goes through with its threat of blowing up the Tabqa dam, then all areas around the southern part of the river could be under water," said Abu Hussein, 67 .He spoke to AFP in Tuwayhina, a small village that was recently recaptured by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces east of the river and around 10 kilometers from the dam.Another 20,000 lived in the smaller city of Thawrah, just south of the dam.
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