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SDF encircle Raqqa, cut off ISIS escape

SDF encircle Raqqa, cut off ISIS escape”

57 are dead after a US-led airstrike targeted a jail run by the Islamic State (IS), AFP reports, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Three weeks ago the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Syrian groups mostly led by Kurdish fighters, began their assault on Raqqa. CNN broadcasted footage from the city's streets - take a look.

Dillon stated that the SDF had cleared ISIS from about 20 square kilometres of territory in and around Raqqa over the past week. It has a tense relationship with its American allies, however, over USA cooperation with Kurdish fighters, some of whom support Kurdish secessionist factions within Turkey.

A spokesman for the USA -led coalition told The Associated Press that the Syrian Democratic Forces are now in control of all high-speed routes into Raqqa from the south. Even though individual Russian platforms come close to matching, and in some ways exceed the capability of USA jets, it comes down to numbers.

With slightly over 500 USA soldiers involved, the U.S. is committed to closely assisting the SDF so that casualties are low and their limited firepower is most effective. But this time, the missiles would have to saturate and defeat Russia's missile defenses first, which they could do by sheer numbers if not using electronic attack craft. "We will respond to every terror attack waged against Turkey from Syria and Iraq and from our soil as well", Erdoğan said.

The U.S. accused Syrian forces of launching a chemical attack from the base in April that killed dozens of civilians.

ISIS fighters pictured during a military training video.

The involvement of Iran illustrates how much the Syrian conflict has become a proxy war for tensions between Iran and Russian Federation on one side, and Turkey and the U.S. on the other. He also says that the United States has been "transparent and open about what types of weapons and how many we are providing".

"As you mix more forces more closely together", the risk increases, Mattis said.

At that point the Russians would have a moment to think very critically if they wanted to engage with the full might of the US Air Force after the eye-for-an-eye shoot downs.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the U.S. will continue to provide weapons to the PKK's Syrian offshoot the armed People's Protection Units (YPG) after concluding the battle against Daesh in northern Syria's Raqqa province.



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