US-Backed Forces Breach Wall Around ISIS-Held Raqqa in Syria – NBCNews.com

Tom MarkLast Update : Tuesday 4 July 2017 - 7:00 PM
US-Backed Forces Breach Wall Around ISIS-Held Raqqa in Syria – NBCNews.com
Image: U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters in the eastern side of Raqqa, Syria

U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters in the eastern side of Raqqa, Syria. Furat FM via AP

Several ISIS leaders were once based in Raqqa, where the group plotted attacks in Europe. The loss of the northern Syrian city, one of the last ISIS strongholds, would deal a major blow to the group. The militants are also on the verge of losing their last foothold in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, from where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the ISIS caliphate in July 2014.

As ISIS loses ground, tensions are rising among the array of forces battling it.

Turkey shelled several villages in Syria overnight Tuesday, killing a woman and two children, according to Kurdish officials and Syrian activists. The Kurdish-run Hawar news agency said the three were killed, and several others wounded, near Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave near the border with Turkey.

Turkey’s private Dogan news agency said Turkish artillery units responded after the border region came under fire late Monday.

Image: U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters in the eastern side of Raqqa, Syria

U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters in the eastern side of Raqqa, Syria. Furat FM via AP

The SDF is dominated by the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the Kurdish rebels fighting in its southeast.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Tuesday that Turkey may launch a cross-border operation into Afrin if it constitutes a “constant security threat.”

Source: world

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2017-07-04 2017-07-04
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