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Syrian Democratic Forces Moving East for 'Eventual Liberation of Raqqa'

© REUTERS / Rodi SaidFighters of the Syria Democratic Forces prepare to fire a mortar shell towards positions held by Islamic State fighters in northern province of Raqqa, Syria May 27, 2016
Fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces prepare to fire a mortar shell towards positions held by Islamic State fighters in northern province of Raqqa, Syria May 27, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The Syrian Democratic Forces are moving east across the river of Euphrates and are preparing for liberating Raqqa, the Syrian city which Daesh militants consider their capital, the US-led anti-Daesh coalition said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish and Arab fighters, have been moving westwards over Euphrates and captured the IS-held Syrian city of Manbij, located west of the river. Turkey, engaged in military actions against Kurds, has been demanding that they retreat east of Euphrates.

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Ankara announced on early Wednesday that Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, had begun a military operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield" to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus of Daesh jihadists. The Daesh group is banned in many countries, including Russia.

Later that day, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and US Vice President Joe Biden said they reached an agreement that forces of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) must not move to the west of the Euphrates river. Biden added that the Kurdish forces would no longer get US support if they did not return.

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