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15 people killed in US-led airstrikes on Raqqa: monitor

Local | 2017-02-17 16:44:11
15 people killed in US-led airstrikes on Raqqa: monitor
(Zaman Al Wasl)- At least 15 civilians have been killed on Friday in US-led airstrikes on the northern countryside of Raqqa city, The local monitor that tracks war in ISIS-held areas said.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently campaign said the aerial bombing targeted Mazraet Tishreen north of Raqqa, killing women and children. A woman has been also killed in the international coalition strikes on Tabqa city.

The aerial cover of US-led coalition is in support of an alliance of Kurdish-led forces who took two more villages on Thursday from the radical group near Raqqa.

In its turn, ISIS has fortified its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa as Syrian Democratic Forces have been advancing in the northern and western countryside, activists said Thursday.

More shields have been installed, landmines have been planted and suicide bomber are ready to defend Raqqa, according to pro-ISIS social media accounts and local monitoring group.  

 Mohamed Saleh, spokesman for Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently campaign,, said ISIS fighters have dug trenches around the city and in tiny territory its controls in the northern countryside.

ISIS is aware of  the imminent war inside the city, so many steps had been taken by the radical group in prepare for guerrilla war.

Meanwhile, 35 families fled Raqqa have arrived to small camp near the PYD-held town of Ayn Issa amid lack of basic needs.

SDF alliance started a new phase of its campaign against  Raqqa two weeks ago, aiming to complete its encirclement and sever the road to militant strongholds in Deir al-Zor province.

The SDF, which includes the powerful Kurdish YPG militia, launched its multi-phased campaign aimed at encircling and ultimately capturing Raqqa in November.

Several hundred U.S. special forces soldiers have been supporting SDF operations against Islamic State in northern Syria. France said in June that its special forces were advising rebels in the same area.

This is the third phase of the Raqqa operation. The first phase targeted areas north of Raqqa city. The second phase, targeting areas to the west of the city, is ongoing, with SDF forces yet to capture the Islamic State-held Euphrates dam.

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