The coalition airstrikes against the Daesh terror group (banned in Russia) destroyed 27 fighting positions and an improvised explosive device (IED) factory near the city of Raqqa in Syria on Wednesday, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release.
"Fighting in the tightly packed old city is particularly hard, with ISIS rigging buildings and even corpses with improvised explosives to try and stall the SDF advance", said Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesperson for the US -led counter ISIS coalition.
Though the development marked a significant milestone in the battle for the Islamic State stronghold, a USA military spokesman cautioned that there is still tough fighting ahead before Raqqa is completely taken from the militants.
The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army. Bali also confirmed that SDF fighters pushing from opposite sides of the city have met up. 6, under the cover of airstrikes by the USA -led coalition.More news: Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) Position Reduced by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY
The al-Qaeda-linked militant group, the Levant Liberation Committee, captured the crossing after battles with the ultraconservative Syrian rebel Ahrar al-Sham group last month. They were handed over on Tuesday at a Syria-Iraq border crossing.
Erdogan said Turkey "cannot allow the passage of weapons", suggesting humanitarian aid has "practically turned into an armament process".
A small number of Christians lives in Raqqa city, however the majority of them fled when ISIS took over the city and moved to the Kurdish-held Hasakah province. The Syrian government has said the United States forces were committing "crimes" by killing civilians on a daily basis.
The last pockets of ISIS fighters there were cleared out in the first few days of July, and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared victory in the city July 10.