Led coalition says it destroyed IS site in Syrian mosque

Islamic State

Syrian Kurdish-led fighters take Hajin, last town held by IS

"It is an operation that will maintain the integrity of Syria", he stressed. We remain committed to working with our partners on the ground to ensure an enduring defeat of ISIS.

Islamic State lost almost all the territory it once held in Syria a year ago in separate offensives by the US -backed SDF on the one hand, and the Russian-backed Syrian army on the other.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the SDF was aided with the cover of airstrikes by the USA -led coalition, and that there was still fighting in the fields outside the town, according to Fox News.

The towns are spread over a vast territory mostly located between the east and west of the Euphrates river, but in a close proximity to the Turkish border.

He added that most of the ISIS fighters besieged in the enclave are among the most experienced gunmen who came to the area from Iraq and Syria.

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"You better keep away when elephants fight", the Americans allegedly told FSA, according to what Anadolu wrote. The YPG leads and makes up the majority of the SDF. The SDF reportedly lost 539 fighters during the same period.

With the support of the US -led coalition, the Kurdish-Arab SDF alliance has squeezed ISIS into small pockets of territory in Syria along the country's border with Iraq.

IS still holds some villages nearby.

Washington says it backs the group in its fight against Daesh.

Turkey shares a 711-kilometer (442-mile) border with Syria and considers the presence of the YPG on its southern border a grave threat to its national security.

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The European Union's foreign policy chief on Saturday asked Turkey to forgo any unilateral military action in Syria, where Ankara has threatened a fresh offensive against a US-backed Kurdish militia.

That point of contention flared up at the beginning of this year when Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch, a military incursion into Syria that successfully took territory from Kurdish opposition forces in the country's northwest.

The Pentagon shot back, warning Thursday that "unilateral military action into northeast Syria by any party, particularly as USA personnel may be present or in the vicinity, is of grave concern", and called such a move "unacceptable". However, a new conflict is looming as these same Pentagon-backed fighters face an imminent threat from a fellow USA partner.

Similarly, former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter confirmed the link between YPG/PYD and the PKK while testifying before a Senate panel at the U.S. Congress in April 2016.

Top administration officials, including President Donald Trump, scrambled this week to head off a Turkish attack against U.S. Kurdish allies in northern Syria, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced an imminent assault.

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Pentagon officials have warned Turkey against its planned offensive into northern Syria. But that allegiance is opposed by Turkey due to the connections of certain participating Kurdish militias to groups designated by Ankara as terrorist organizations due to an ongoing insurgency at home.

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