Led airstrikes kill over 30 in Syria's Raqqa

Syria US-backed forces launch bid to take Raqqa from ISISMore

A statement says the pro-Assad forces ignored several coalition warnings.

The US has long backed and armed factions of the SDF, and in May the Trump administration announced it would openly arm Kurdish forces within the SDF, a move that irked Turkish officials.

In Iraq, Iraqi forces continue to make steady gains in brutal, close-quarters urban combat against ISIS on the west side of Mosul.

"It's hard to convince new recruits that ISIS is a winning cause when they just lost their twin "capitals" in both Iraq and Syria", Townsend said, referring to IS by another acronym. The People's Protection Units (YPG), seen as a terrorist organization by Ankara for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), constitutes the backbone of the US -backed SDF.

He said the attack had started from the north, east and west of the city.

In an address to legislators from his ruling party, Binali Yildirim again criticized the United States for launching the Raqqa offensive with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

The YPG has been the main partner for the USA in its campaign in Syria against Daesh, which is also the target of separate campaigns waged by the Russian-backed Syrian regime and Free Syrian Army rebel groups, the latter backed by Turkey.

A USA -backed Syrian force says it has begun an offensive to capture the northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group.

The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria has struck pro-government forces, the Pentagon confirmed.

He says SDF fighters have attacked IS positions on the edges of Raqqa at three points. Last week, they reached the northern and eastern gates of the city after intense clashes under the cover of US-led air strikes.

Separately, the activist collective Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently reported that artillery fire had fallen on the city for more than two hours.

The extremists are not expected to give up its hold on Raqqa easily.

ISIS captured Raqqa in January 2014, one of the first cities the terrorist group gained control.

State news agency SANA reported on Tuesday that the airstrikes by the US -led coalition killed 12, including women and children. "They also broke through Daesh's first line of defence on the northern outskirts of Raqqa", Rami Abdel Rahman, head of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 21 people were killed in the Monday night airstrikes.

The airstrikes targeted boats transporting civilians in the southern bank of the Euphrates River, said the report, adding that the strike hit before the Iftar time of Ramadan.

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