US-backed Kurds launch campaign north of IS-held Raqqa

US-backed Kurds launch campaign north of IS-held Raqqa

US-backed Kurds launch campaign north of IS-held Raqqa

Written by Tharushan Fernando

25 May, 2016 | 7:59 am

A US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters have set off on a campaign to eradicate the Islamic State (IS) from the lands north of Raqqa

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is believed to have deployed about 30,000 fighters alongside US-led coalition warplanes who will support the offensive as well as the backing of Russia.

The alliance, which is dominated by the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) militia, has emerged as a key ally of the US-led coalition over the past two years, leading the fight against IS on the ground in northern Syria and with the aid of US air power, it has managed to take over about 26,000 sq km (10,000 sq miles) of territory, including a 400km (250 mile) stretch along the Turkish border.

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