US-backed Syrian rebel force launches battle for IS capital
BEIRUT - An official for the non-aligned, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces says its fighters have launched a battle to capture Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group.
SDF political official Rezan Hiddo says the official announcement of the battle will come "within hours."
He says SDF fighters have attacked IS positions on the edges of Raqqa at three points. He spoke to The Associated Press by phone late Monday from northern Syria.
Separately, the activist collective Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently reported that artillery fire had fallen on the city for more than two hours.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says the autonomous Syrian Democratic Forces has been repairing bridges across the Euphrates River in preparation to attack Raqqa.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Damaged in 2016 flood, Denham Springs school debuts renovated campus
Police: Abusive father booked for murder after toddler died in hospital
Lightning strikes Slidell home after storms move through area
After toddler's overdose death and foster parent's rape arrest, DCFS faces questions...
Capital area businesses considering scrapping LA Wallet as valid form of ID