US says strikes in Syria aimed at hampering Islamic State response to Kurdish advances

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday a flurry of US air strikes around Raqqa, Syria, over the weekend were aimed at disrupting the ability of Islamic State forces to respond to advances on the ground by Syrian Kurdish forces.
Carter, speaking at a news conference with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, said air strikes targeting bridges and Islamic State positions around its declared capital of Raqqa were aimed at limiting the group's "freedom of movement and ability to counter those capable Kurdish forces."
"That's the manner in which effective and lasting defeat of ISIL will occur, when there are effective local forces on the ground that we can support and enable so that they can take territory, hold territory and make sure good governance comes in behind it," Carter said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group
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