The SDF, a multi-ethnic group which includes Kurdish fighters and Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) fighters, had been battling Islamic State for weeks in Tabqa, about 40 kilometers west of Raqqa, with the help of coalition airstrikes and U.S. special forces advisers.
The announcement to equip the SDF with weapons was a snub to Turkey, which does not want the Syrian Kurdish-led force to take Raqqa and has offered its own troops instead.
Meanwhile, five others were killed and several were wounded in bombings from planes, believed to belong to the coalition over the village of al-Quriya in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, Efe news reported.
Syrian opposition activists and media say Kurdish-led forces are closing in on the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group in Syria, seizing a cotton factory only a couple of miles north of the city.
The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action. The UK-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it also had reports of fighting 13km north-west of Raqqa.
The activist-run Raqqa Being Slaughtered Silently group said the public markets in Raqqa have been closed, suspecting it is because of the proximity of the clashes. Later, the group said the militants ordered merchants to evacuate the vegetable market for the next few days.
The capture of Tabqah came a day after the Trump administration announced it will supply the SDF with heavier weapons ahead of a push on Raqqa. The airport is located in the hardline militants' remaining enclave in the eastern Aleppo countryside, a region where they have mostly lost control to competing forces ranging from the Syrian army, US-backed Kurdish-led forces to Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels.
Military analysts say Syria and its allies likely will next focus on the town of Maskana in the eastern Aleppo countryside.
The U.S. considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, as the most effective group in the fight against Islamic State militants in their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa. Photo Credit: Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images The Observatory said rebels remain in control of parts of the Qaboun neighborhood.
If confirmed, this increases the government's security belt around the capital and strips the opposition of another prized territory in the area.
The evacuation of hundreds of residents of the Barzeh and Tishreen neighborhoods began last week.
Tens of thousands of people living in besieged areas around Damascus, Homs and Aleppo " Syria's largest city " have surrendered under similar agreements in recent months, agreeing to relocate in what critics have said amounts to forced displacement.