US-backed Syrian force starts new phase of Raqqa assault

RAQQA PROVINCE, Syria - An alliance of US-backed militias said it had begun a new phase of its campaign against the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa on Saturday and aimed to complete its encirclement.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement the action was being undertaken with "increasing support from the (US-led) international coalition forces through guaranteeing air cover for our forces' advances, or via the help provided by their special teams to our forces on the battle ground".
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