Photos : US commandos in fight against Islamic State near Raqqa

US soldiers, one apparently wearing the badge of the YPG, in Fatisah, Raqqa province, on 25 May, 2016 (AFP)
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The Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF with US special forces in fight against  Islamic State near Raqqa  in Syria, reported by www.middleeasteye.net.

At a base in northern Syria, US special forces can be seen providing targeting assistance and artillery fire to support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) forces in their operation to clear the countryside of northern Raqqa, close to the Islamic State’s self-declared capital.

There is a clear coalition presence on the ground here, as opposed to last year, when Western soldiers were nowhere to be seen. British, US and French special forces are assisting the SDF on the ground in an operation that has so far advanced at least 6km and which aims to dislodge IS from its north-east Syrian bastion.

Pictures showed US troops manning a grenade launcher in Fatisah, Raqqa. One showed what appeared to be a US soldier wearing a badge of the YPG, an element of the SDF that defended Kobane from IS attacks in 2014 and last year.

Heval Gabar Tolhildan, an SDF volunteer from Canada, told Middle East Eye: “They are working with us, and they give lessons and training for air strikes, communication and strategy. They are firing, mortaring and helping with air strikes.

“They are not leading the operation, so it’s good, but they can give more supplies and weapons.

ISIS has controled Raqqa in northern Syria since sweeping across vast swathes of that country and neighboring Iraq in 2014. It is believed to operate most of its administration and control and command from the city.

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