Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes Kurds, Arabs and Syriac Christians, monitor the countryside of the northeastern town of Al-Hol, in the Syrian Hassakeh province, on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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A U.S.-backed coalition of rebels in Syria -- including Syrian Kurdish, Arab and Christian groups -- captured several areas in the country's north from ISIS extremists as government air raids on a rebel-held Damascus suburb killed at least 20 people on Thursday.Several villages, farms and weapons were taken in battles with ISIS, the spokesman said, adding that at least 14 ISIS fighters have been killed since Wednesday.The SDF, dominated by the main Kurdish militia in Syria known as YPG, or People's Protection Units, has become a main force in fighting ISIS, capturing dozens of villages in northern Syria over the past weeks.However, in eastern Syria, ISIS has seized a district previously held by Syrian government forces in the city of Deir al-Zour after heavy clashes with troops holed up inside, the extremist group and Syrian opposition activists said Thursday. The agency said at least 38 Syrian troops were killed in the attack during which ISIS seized large amounts of ammunition and an armed personnel carrier from the government troops.The Observatory also reported that in the "coming hours," ISIS was to start evacuating its wounded fighters from Damascus' southern suburb of Qadam to areas held by the extremists in northern Syria under a newly brokered deal.
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