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Syrian state TV says 43 civilians killed in Raqqa airstrikes

Syrian state TV says 43 civilians killed in Raqqa airstrikes

"We have there assisting in this battle Marine M777 Howitzers, which are providing a significant enabling capability to our Special Operations Forces and partners on the ground", Davis told reporters at the Pentagon".

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized a town and dam to the west of Raqqa at the weekend and have been closing in on ISIL's self-declared capital since November.

"They told us that this was not a decision but an obligation and that they won't continue their cooperation with the YPG after this operation, as it was a tactical cooperation", Yıldırım claimed.

"We all saw the heinous attack in Manchester, England", said Townsend.

On Friday, the SDF captured al-Mansoura, the largest town in the western Raqqa countryside, from ISIS, Reuters reported.

He said USA -led coalition forces will continue to support the SDF in Raqqa, providing equipment, training, Intelligence and logistics as well as precision firepower. "ISIS threatens all of our nations, not just Iraq and Syria, but in our own homelands as well". It was not immediately clear exactly who the attacking force was, said one USA official, but casualties resulted.

Lt. Gen. Steve Townsend, Commanding General of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement that the fight for Raqqa "will be long and hard but would deliver a decisive blow to the idea of ISIS as a physical caliphate".

Humanitarian aid organization International Rescue Committee said 200,000 people were still trapped inside, and warned civilians in Raqqa risk being killed by Islamic State snipers or mines if they try to flee but could be used by the militants as human shields if they remain.

He said the coalition expected IS to use similar tactics to those it had employed during the months-long battle in Mosul, including the use of armored auto bombs as its "weapon of choice".

The airstrikes have intensified in recent weeks as SDF fighters have reached the outskirts of the city.

US-backed fighters broke into the city of Raqqa yesterday as they launched a final assault to drive the Islamic State group from its de facto Syrian capital.

In April, Turkey announced the completion of its half-year Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria against both jihadists and Kurdish militia.

The difference between Washington and Ankara on Syria mainly derives from how they regard the armed groups in the region.

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