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Pentagon: Rebel forces taking heavy casualties in Raqqa fight

The United States confirmed today that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are taking heavy casualties in an effort to push the Islamic State out of its stronghold in Raqqa.
A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires his rifle at Islamic State militants as he runs across a street in Raqqa, Syria July 3, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTS19M5W
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US-backed Syrian rebels are suffering heavy casualties as they attempt to retake the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Raqqa from fighters lodged in tunnels, trenches and other defensive positions, the Pentagon said today.

Despite stiff resistance from improvised explosive devices, car bombs and even drones, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have now entered the Old City of Raqqa, breaking through a seventh-century wall laden with explosives where IS has been holding out. The contingent of Arab and Kurdish soldiers number between 30,000 and 40,000.

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