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rdish-led forces mustering in Northern Syria ahead of an attack on Islamic State militants near Raqqah. The US backed group Syria Democratic Forces announcing the offensive on Tuesday. The fighters are eyeing large tracks of countryside north of Raqqah but not the city itself, Islamic State's de facto capital since 2014.
US led coalition war planes are supporting the assaults.
e alliance, which is dominated by Kurdish YPG militia has become a key ally of the US led forces, driving IS from wide areas of Northern Syria over the last year. Its advances, though, have recently slowed. The attack follows a recent visit by a top US military commander, General Joseph Votel.
The surprise meeting fueled expectation of an imminent mission, but neither Washington nor its allies have suggested they're about to embark on a campaign to retake Raqqah.