Fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces take positions in northern province of Raqqa, Syria May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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The Syrian army backed by Russian airstrikes has advanced towards ISIS-held Raqqa province in a new offensive, a group monitoring the war said, nearing a region where U.S.-backed militias have also attacked the jihadist group.A Syrian military source, however, said that reports of an attack targeting Raqqa were "expectations", and that both Raqqa and Deir al-Zor, also in the hands of ISIS insurgents, were possible targets of army operations.The army announced Thursday a new operation backed by Russian airstrikes in the Athriya area of eastern Hama province close to the provincial border with Raqqa. The Syrian military source said the army was focused on eastern and northern areas of both Homs and Hama provinces "in the direction of ISIS gatherings".The Syrian army advanced to the border between Raqqa and Hama provinces in February.
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