BEIRUT U.S.-backed forces captured a town west of Raqqa from Islamic State on Friday as they force toward the militants’ Syrian stronghold, a protection supply and a monitoring team mentioned.
The United States mentioned this 7 days it begun distributing weapons to Kurdish YPG militiamen who variety a critical section of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance which Washington is backing in its battle towards the jihadists.
“It is been around three days that the SDF has been attacking al-Mansoura. Right now, from two sides, they entered, and it was liberated,” a protection supply near to the SDF informed Reuters.
The British-primarily based Syrian Observatory for Human Legal rights mentioned al-Mansoura was the largest town in the western Raqqa countryside. There ended up still some clashes having place around pockets of IS resistance in the town, it mentioned.
The SDF, which includes the YPG and Syrian Arab battling teams, mentioned past thirty day period it predicted to storm Raqqa in early summer months as section of a multi-phased offensive.
The alliance has state-of-the-art in recent months to within several kilometers (miles) of the center of Raqqa, though their gains have taken longer than predicted with intense resistance from IS.
Battling given that late past yr has displaced tens of countless numbers of people today according to United Nations sources, lots of of whom head for camps in the area.
The households of Islamic State fighters have fled the U.S.-backed offensive, which includes for neighboring Deir al-Zor province, one more IS stronghold, the Observatory claims.
The U.S.-led coalition backs the SDF with air strikes and army advisors on the ground.
(Reporting by John Davison Modifying by Robin Pomeroy)