Led Forces Working With Islamic State Group in Raqqa: Russia

Lucy Bush
June 10, 2017

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported more than 25 overnight airstrikes on Raqqa killed 17 people, including 12 at an internet cafe.

The evening news broadcast on Al-Manar TV, which belongs to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, hailed the advance of the pro-government forces, and the Hezbollah fighters embedded with them.

The United States Central Command said it "does not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces partnered with them", but promised to take "appropriate measures" to protect USA forces tasked with defeating the Islamic State group.

The US-led coalition uses white phosphorus to screen and mark targets in Raqqa during the operation to liberate the Syrian city from the Islamic State terrorists (banned in Russia), Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson told Sputnik on Friday.

"IS has snipers monitoring Al-Meshleb neighbourhood and has laid mines extensively throughout it", the Observatory said. He urged all parties to give safe passage to those who want to leave.

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Speaking to Kurdistan24, Jihan Sheikh Ahmad, the spokesperson of operation room in Raqqa battle, said the SDf liberated al-Mishlab district at the city's southeastern outskirts.

Al-Meshleb was the first neighbourhood in Raqa city entered by SDF fighters.

The group said the district had been emptied of its civilian population before the SDF entered, and ISIL had dug defensive trenches and tunnels in the area in a bid to hold off attacking forces.

"Hundreds" of USA military personnel are taking part in the Raqa offensive, according to the Pentagon, which said Thursday it believed up to 2,500 IS fighters were still holed up in Raqa.

They are backed by the US-led coalition which carried out heavy air strikes on Raqa and its surroundings overnight and into Friday.

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Around 300,000 civilians were believed to have been living under IS rule in Raqqa, although thousands have fled in recent months leaving 160,000 in the city according to the UN.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also warned that Raqa's civilians were left facing a "deadly choice".

The sources have published video footage and photographs of the bombs exploding over the city that is under attack on three sides by Kurdish forces supported by the US-led worldwide anti-ISIS coalition.

The operation - codenamed Operation Wrath of Euphrates - to reclaim Raqqa is led by the SDF, whose largest component is the YPG, and is backed by United States air power.

It was the second time in less than a month that the coalition had attacked pro-regime forces that strayed too near to the garrison.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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