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    This undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, on Monday, June 30, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.

    Obama Lifts Restrictions on Military Aid to Bolster Raqqa Offensive - Official

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    President Barack Obama lifted US restrictions on arming partners in Syria to facilitate the Raqqa offensive, a US government administration official told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Thursday, Obama waived legal restrictions outlined in the US Arms Export Control Act, which forbids providing defense-related supplies or services to countries that are not cooperating fully with US anti-terrorism efforts.

    “This waiver requested by the Secretary of Defense and signed by the President today enables the provision of equipment to partner forces preparing for the Raqqa campaign as we grow and strengthen numerous relationships with Counter-ISIL [Islamic State] forces,” the official said on Thursday.

    Earlier on Thursday, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau claimed that the US position against arming the Syrian opposition will not change even if government forces retake Aleppo.

    The Syrian Army was in the process of retaking the remaining districts held by militants in southern Aleppo, a source told RIA Novosti.


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