Kurds begin campaign to oust Islamic State from Raqqa
Kurdish-led Syrian forces began an offensive Sunday to liberate the Islamic State group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, clashing with the extremists north of the Syrian city.
The United States, France and Britain said they would provide air support for the offensive, which was announced at a news conference in Ein Issa, north of Raqqa, by a coalition of Kurds and Arabs known as the Syria Democratic Forces. But it lacked details on how the group dominated by Kurds plans to oust the militants from the city, home to an estimated 5,000 IS fighters.
Unlike several successful efforts to drive Islamic State militants out of cities in Iraq, the Raqqa offensive faces several political obstacles.
In Iraq, a U.S.-led coalition is working with the government in Baghdad, but Washington and its partners in Syria are relying on a hodgepodge of local Arab and Kurdish opposition groups, some of which are fierce rivals.