A civil defense worker carries a child after airstrikes hit a school housing displaced people, in southern Deraa province.
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Daesh militants have become increasingly desperate in the face of heavy airstrikes on their Syrian bastion Raqqa, passing themselves off as civilians to escape detection and killing anyone who tries to flee, witnesses said.At a camp for the displaced in the village of Ain Issa north of the city, people who arrived Wednesday also said the airstrikes supporting an assault by U.S.-backed forces had inflicted widespread destruction as the battle intensified.The coalition is backing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of Kurdish and Arab militias who have been closing in on Raqqa in northern Syria for months in preparation for the assault to recapture the city.The coalition estimates that 3,000-4,000 Daesh fighters are holed up in Raqqa, the group's administrative headquarters.Underscoring the ongoing violence, a barrage of airstrikes and artillery shells pummeled different areas of southern Deraa province Wednesday, leaving at least eight people dead, including children, first responders and activists said.Activists and rescue workers Wednesday reported at least 12 airstrikes and artillery shelling in different areas of Deraa, the southern province divided between insurgents and government forces.
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