Circling around U.S. embeds, Syrian forces reach Iraq border

Circling around U.S. embeds, Syrian forces reach Iraq border

US-led coalition forces launched heavy raids into Friday morning in support of Syrian fighters battling to oust ISIS from Raqqa, a monitor said.

Col. Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the commander of Russian forces in Syria, said earlier this month that IS has made a deal with the Kurdish forces to leave two villages southwest of Raqqa and move toward Palmyra.

“Instead of eliminating terrorists guilty of hundreds and thousands of Syrian civilian deaths, the US-led global coalition alongside with their proxies, Syrian Democratic Forces, collude with IS field commanders, who surrender their positions and sites without resistance and head towards the regions where Syrian government forces actively conduct military operations, ” he said.

The group said the USA -led coalition used white phosphorous in the night attacks on Raqqa.

The group said SDF forces took parts of the district of Jazra, west of Raqqa, backed by US -led air support.

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

On their side of the border, Iraqi forces, along with Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Committee militias, are advancing through ISIS-held territory to meet the Russian-backed forces at the frontier, according to a Lebanese TV station close to the Syrian government.

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One of Tuesday's air strikes inside the city killed eight civilians, including three children, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

UNICEF warned "an estimated 40,000 children remain trapped in unsafe conditions in Raqqa city".

"Many are caught in the crossfire", UNICEF official Geert Cappelaere said, urging all parties to give safe passage to those who want to leave.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said the SDF now controlled around two-thirds of Al Meshleb and was some 400 metres from the neighbouring Al Senaa district.

"They are taking all sorts of measures because they know losing Raqqa is the beginning of the end for Daesh", he said, using another common name for the group. One of the dead was an activist with the group, it added.

Tens of civilians were killed on Thursday when the USA -led airstrikes targeted Syria's northern city of Raqqa with white phosphorus, pro-government Sham FM radio reported.

"As a matter of policy the Coalition does not discuss the employment of specific weapons and munition usage; however, in accordance with the law of armed conflict white phosphorus rounds are used for screening, obscuring, and marking in a way that fully considers the possible incidental effects on civilians and civilian structures", the spokesperson said.

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