Russia says US-led coalition colludes with IS in Syria

Down to the river for youths from Iraq s embattled Mosul

On Thursday, a drone that USA officials say was likely connected to Iranian-supported Hezbollah forces fired on US -backed troops and was shot down by an American fighter jet in southern Syria near a base where the USA -led coalition is training Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group.

US-backed fighters battled the Islamic State group Thursday as they tried to push further into the jihadists' Syrian bastion Raqa, two days after finally entering the northern city.

The Britain-based group reported 23 civilians killed in the overnight strikes, including 15 who were in an internet cafe in the western suburb of Jazra, just outside the city.

Col. Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the commander of Russian forces in Syria, said IS made a deal earlier this month with the Kurdish forces to leave two villages southwest of Raqqa and move toward Palmyra.

A US -backed Syrian Arab-Kurdish coalition has captured territory on the western edge of Raqqa, the extremist group Islamic State's (IS) stronghold and self-declared capital in Syria, a monitoring group says. Photo Credit: Mohamad Abazeed/AFP via Getty Images "An estimated 40,000 children remain trapped in extremely unsafe conditions in Raqqa".

“Instead of eliminating terrorists guilty of hundreds and thousands of Syrian civilian deaths, the US-led global 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.

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Officials were quick to insist that the special forces in Raqqa are "not kicking down doors", but are positioned in the city primarily to advise Kurdish fighters in how to kick those doors down, though they obviously are armed and ready to fight.

He said that Syrian government troops had secured territorial gains in the southern Suwayda province near the Jordanian border, but encountered resistance from the US -led coalition.

The activist collective Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently said that in addition to the airstrikes the city was subjected to artillery and missile attacks.

Meanwhile white phosphorus attacks on Raqqa were reported for second night on Friday.

The group said SDF forces took parts of the district of Jazra, west of Raqqa, backed by USA -led air support. Worldwide law prohibits its use in civilian areas because of its indiscriminate effects, from starting fires to causing excruciating burns for bystanders, according to Human Rights Watch, which said it was investigating the allegations.

The US-led coalition said on Tuesday that it had hit a regime convoy that was nearing the Al-Tanaf garrison, used by US and British troops to train Syrian rebels to fight Daesh.

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