Syrian army closes in on IS-held town in Raqqa

This frame grab from video released Friday Aug. 11 2017 and provided by Furat FM a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group shows U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters advance in Raqqa Syria. U.S.-backed Syrian fighters advancing from

Syrian army closes in on IS-held town in Raqqa

Over 200 fighters of the Syriac Military Council (MFS) now fight alongside other SDF factions in Western Raqqa to liberate the city from ISIS.

Dillon said the development shows the steady progress SDF fighters are making against the Islamic State in the northern city, the militants' self-declared capital.

In a short statement on its official Twitter account, the SDF, an alliance of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian fighters led by the Kurdish YPG group, said IS militants are besieged in the "last few areas they are still holding in Raqqa". Bali also confirmed that SDF fighters pushing from opposite sides of the city have met up.

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Turkey has introduced new regulations at a border crossing with northwestern Syria, allowing only the transport of humanitarian aid, after an al-Qaida-linked group took control of the Syrian post.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after Friday prayers in Istanbul that the Cilvegozu crossing in southern Turkey would remain open for food, medicine and some supplies. "The security conditions in the area are so complex that the handling process can not be done easily", he said. The Syrian government has said the United States forces were committing "crimes" by killing civilians on a daily basis.

International Organization for Migration spokeswoman Olivia Headon said the 602,759 returns between January and July was on track to surpass the figure of 685,000 returns for all of 2016. She said however that the 2017 returns were less than the number of displaced this year: almost 809,000.

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Separate contingents of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ringing the Islamic State (IS) bastion of Raqqa have converged, dealing another sharp blow to the surrounded militants.

Nine women and 14 children were among those killed in the airstrikes on Monday, Xinhua news agency cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) as saying on Tuesday.

A USA -trained local police force of about 1,000 members is patrolling the liberated areas.

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