U.S.-backed forces launch new attacks on Islamic State in Syria: statement

U.S.-backed forces launch new attacks on Islamic State in Syria: statementU.S.-backed forces fighting Islamic State in Syria launched a new phase of their offensive on Thursday, a statement said, but they have not yet begun to attack the militant group’s stronghold of Raqqa city in an apparent delay in the operation. The multi-phased campaign by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance made up of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighting groups, was launched in November and aims ultimately to drive the jihadists from Raqqa, their de facto Syrian capital. Officials in the Kurdish YPG militia, a powerful component of the SDF, said last month that assaults on Raqqa city itself would start in early or mid-April.



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