People load parts of the wreckage of a Syrian war plane onto a truck after it crashed in Raqqa September 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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A Syrian military plane crashed into the de facto capital of the Islamic State group on Tuesday, killing at least eight people, as thousands of its residents fled to nearby villages in anticipation of expected U.S. airstrikes against the militants, activists saidIn Damascus, Syrian rebels emerged from underground sewers to attack government troops at dawn, one of very few such infiltration attempts to pass the boundaries of the capital since the conflict erupted three years ago against the rule of President Bashar Assad, activists said.At least 18 fighters were killed in the southern area of Midan after two groups of rebels crawled into the city through the tunnel network to attack a Syrian government checkpoint, said Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.As international attention has zeroed in on the extremists, the Syrian government, which largely shied away from bombing the group's territory for more than a year, has begun targeting cities and towns under the militants' control more frequently.On Tuesday, there were at least seven airstrikes on the city.
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