Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters ride on a pick-up truck along a street in Raqqa's western neighborhood of Jazra, Syria June 11, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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ISIS extremists waged fierce battles Tuesday in their Syrian stronghold Raqqa in a bid to repel US-backed fighters advancing towards the walls of the Old City.The Kurdish and Arab fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) entered Raqqa a week ago, after months of fighting to encircle the northern city that has become an extremist bastion.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor also reported heavy ISIS attacks against SDF fighters in the area.Since entering Raqqa on June 6, the SDF has captured the eastern neighborhood of Al-Meshleb, as well as Al-Rumaniya in the city's west.An estimated 300,000 civilians were believed to have been living under ISIS rule in Raqqa, including 80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria.Syrian government forces are not involved in the battle for Raqqa, but they are advancing in an area southwest of the city, skirting around SDF fighters.
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