Activists say Kurdish-led forces advance on IS-held Raqqa

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The U.S. decision to provide heavier weapons among its supplies to the Kurds could therefore be significant in tipping the balance in their favor.

The SDF, a Kurdish-led militia alliance that has the air cover of the global coalition and the support of USA special forces, began "Operation Wrath of Euphrates" on November 6 to expel the Islamic State (IS) terror organisation from the province of al-Raqqa and its homonymous capital. And it's the same thing with Russian Federation (I also said this to Putin).

"The types of action to be taken in Syria by the global coalition against Daesh - in which France participates alongside the United States - will be determined on the basis of this priority", it said. But he said the safe zones should not be used as launch pads for new military operations. "The civilians that are present in the city, or the ones who were scattered in the conditions of war, . will return to their homes and will live with honour and dignity", Hevdeli said.

Erdogan portrays US support for the Kurdish militia - instead of Syrian Arab rebels - as a leftover policy from the Obama administration, which he said had wrongly accused Turkey of doing too little in the fight against Islamic State. "One terrorist organization can not be destroyed by another terror organization", premier Binali Yildirim told reporters about his brief meeting Thursday with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in London at conference on Somalia. Later, the group said the militants ordered merchants to evacuate the vegetable market for the next few days.

But one crucial steppingstone in the campaign to oust the militant group from Raqqa was finally reached Tuesday, when President Donald Trump made a decision to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters poised to move in on the northern Syrian city. The weapons have not yet been delivered.

The army had been battling the jihadists for several months, but finally succeeded Saturday in taking control of the Jarrah airbase. Turkey's government has also voiced frustration over what it sees as Washington's foot-dragging in response to its extradition request for a US-based Turkish cleric blamed for last July's failed coup.

The liberation of Tabqah, which began on March 22, isolates ISIS' self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa on three sides, but Ranke-Galloway would not speculate about how long it would take to fully isolate the ISIS stronghold.


Al Ikhbariya state TV later aired a report from the neighbourhood's south-eastern edge, as gunfire crackled in the background.

Washington sees the YPG as distinct from the PKK and as a valuable partner in the fight against in Islamic State.

If confirmed, this increases the government's security belt around the capital and strips the opposition of another prized territory in the area.

The SDF is fighting not just ISIS, but also the barbarous Assad regime.

The seizure of Tabqa in the north of Syria after weeks of fighting represents one of the most important victories for the SDF. Forty-eight hours after SDF announced the recapture of Tabqa, bodies were still visible in the street.

"The SDF were able to deploy onto the dam itself during the night", the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman said. "There are flies and dirt everywhere, which is affecting our health".

Ankara says the YPG is linked to PKK separatists inside Turkey, who have waged an insurgency since 1984 that has killed more than 40,000 people.

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