Russia says US-led coalition colludes with IS in Syria

The sources have published video footage and photographs of the bombs exploding over the city that is under attack on three sides by Kurdish forces supported by the US-led global anti-ISIS coalition.

The SDF, a Washington-backed alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, launched a campaign to reclaim Raqqa city on Tuesday. On Wednesday, an AFP journalist entered the city with SDF fighters and witnessed heavy clashes in the Al-Meshleb neighbourhood, with IS firing multiple mortar rounds towards the advancing forces.

Part of the neighbourhood was under SDF control but US-led coalition planes were still carrying out strikes against ISIL fighters elsewhere in the district, one of the largest in Raqqa.

"Many are caught in the crossfire", UNICEF official Geert Cappelaere said, urging all parties to give safe passage to those who want to leave.

Providing an update by teleconference from Baghdad, Dillon told reporters that Iraqi security forces in Mosul have continued to push forward this week on the west and northwest portions of the forward line of troops, keeping pressure on ISIS.

"Our troops are advancing in Al Meshleb and control parts of it", SDF spokesman Talal Sello said.

ISIS extremists have been fighting back against the advancing forces with snipers as well as drones armed with explosives, according to the SDF.

ISIS militants have been retreating from Raqqa's outskirts in the face of advances by the SDF, Reuters reported Thursday.

Around 500 U.S. military personnel, not all of them special forces, are believed to be participating in the battle for Raqa.

Tens of thousands of people have fled Raqqa and the surrounding area since the SDF launched its Operation Wrath of the Euphrates to capture the ISIS bastion last November.

An estimated 300,000 civilians were believed to have been living under IS rule in Raqa, including 80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria.

"Later this morning, after that first incident, the United States also shot down a suspected pro-regime drone that fired on coalition forces conducting patrols outside of the deconfliction zone to the east", he said.

“Instead of eliminating terrorists guilty of hundreds and thousands of Syrian civilian deaths, the US-led worldwide coalition alongside with their proxies, Syrian Democratic Forces, collude with IS field commanders, who surrender their positions and sites without resistance and head towards the regions where Syrian government forces actively conduct military operations, ” he said.

It was the third time the coalition has struck pro-regime forces near Al-Tanaf in less than a month.

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