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Ar-Raqqah: PYD launches offensive to capture city

KurdWatch, May 31, 2016—On May 24, 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces, dominated by the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Forces (YPG), launched an offensive to seize ar‑Raqqah, the provincial capital now controlled by the Islamic State (IS). The Syrian Democratic Forces were able to capture a number of villages near Tall Shahin, which lies thirty kilometers north of ar‑Raqqah. The attack was supported by US air strikes. According to eyewitness accounts the offensive was also accompanied by members of the US army. The news agency AFP photographed armed US soldiers on a pickup truck north of ar‑Raqqah. One of the soldiers wore an YPG insignia. According to official information provided by the US, there are around three hundred US American special forces in Syria working as consultants. 

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