A Boeing C-17 military plane takes off before the first flight of the new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner at the Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, South Carolina, United States March 31, 2017. REUTERS/Randall Hill
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The United States has expanded a runway at a northern Syria air base to accommodate the large C-17 military plane needed to help with logistics for the push to retake the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, a U.S. defense official said Tuesday.The U.S. military has in recent weeks sent hundreds of extra troops into Syria, including a Marine artillery contingent that is targeting Raqqa.Thomas said the improved air base, located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Raqqa, is not dissimilar from another base the U.S. helped expand near Mosul in Iraq ahead of the fight for that city.
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