At a news conference in Tabqa, the SDF announced it would hand over the town’s administration to civilian administrators. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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A Kurdish-led Syrian force backed by the U.S. expects to advance on Daesh's (ISIS) de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria this summer, a commander said Friday, following a decision by the Trump administration to supply the force with heavier weapons.The advance left no significant Daesh-held urban settlements between SDF lines and Raqqa, about 40 kilometers to the east.An SDF commander, identified only as Abdel-Qader, declined to specify dates at a news conference, citing tactical reasons. He said the battle for Raqqa would begin once the group receives the weapons from the U.S. military, adding that he expects the fighters to storm the city in the coming weeks. The announcement to equip the SDF with weapons was a snub to Turkey, which doesn't want the Syrian Kurdish-led force to take Raqqa and has offered its own troops instead.As the fight around Tabqa intensified around two months ago, he fled with his six children and elderly parents.Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, meanwhile, said government and allied troops repelled the militant attack on several military posts between Khanasser and Atharaya early Friday.
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