Now in its seventh week, the assault to recapture the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh militants has ground down into a bloody battle of attrition.
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A Daesh (ISIS) militant emerged from underground right into a deserted building being used as a position by U.S.-backed Syrian forces on a front line in Raqqa.More militants burst out of the tunnel, raced up to the top floor and killed three fighters, capturing the building and battling for hours with other fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces. More than a week after the battle, described to the Associated Press by SDF fighters and commanders, Daesh militants still hold the building on Raqqa's western side, their snipers face-to-face with the SDF snipers meters away. Now in its seventh week, the assault to recapture the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh militants has ground down into a bloody battle of attrition from street to street, each trying to draw out and weaken the other. Dillon said the area now held by the militants in the Old City is about 2 kilometers across from east to west.Since the assault began, 293 civilians have been killed, along with 416 Daesh fighters and 192 SDF fighters, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group, which monitors the conflict.In one place, Daesh militants have focused on Arab positions in their counterattacks.
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