Armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations ride in the back of a pickup truck in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa on May 25, 2016. / AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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Warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition have pounded ISIS with at least 150 strikes to bolster a major offensive on the extremists' Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, activists said Friday.The U.S. is backing twin assaults against ISIS – one in Raqqa province and another which aims to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah across the border. SDF forces have pushed forward from Ain Issa, less than 60 km (40 miles) north of Raqqa city, into the surrounding farmland and small villages.The fighting and bombardment has left 31 ISIS fighters dead so far, Abdel-Rahman said. Near the front line, an AFP photographer Wednesday saw U.S. soldiers supporting SDF forces, who say they have advanced seven kilometers from Ain Issa.In Iraq, pro-government forces have advanced towards bridges leading to ISIS-held Fallujah, said Staff Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi, head of the Fallujah Liberation Operations Command.About 50,000 civilians are estimated to be trapped inside the city, and only 800 had been able to escape, according to the UN's refugee agency.
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