The U.S. has spent months launching airstrikes and supporting Syrian ground forces to cut off supply lines leading into Raqqa, home to an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Islamic State fighters.
Raqqa is now surrounded from the east, north and west, and opposition activists have reported intense shelling and air strikes on the city since Monday night, which killed at least 12 people.
Former U.S. defense secretary Ashton Carter had urged that IS be attacked simultaneously in Raqa and Mosul, Iraq, the group's other key stronghold.
The US-led coalition said on Tuesday the fight for Raqqa would be "long and difficult" but would deliver a "decisive blow to the idea of Daesh as a physical caliphate". Though the YPG has been effective fighting smaller ISIS targets, Raqqa will be a huge test for them. Humanitarian aid organization International Rescue Committee said 200,000 people were still trapped inside, and warned civilians in Raqqa risk being killed by Daesh snipers or mines if they try to flee but could be used by the militants as human shields if they remain.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the commencement of the military offensive for the self-declared capital of ISIS on Tuesday morning.
"With the global coalition's warplanes and the state-of-the-art weapons they provided to us, we will seize Raqqa from Daesh", Sello told AFP.
By mid-afternoon, a number of neighborhoods inside the al-Mashlab district in eastern Raqqa city had been captured, Serdar Haji Mahmoud, a war correspondent embedded with the SDF told Syria Direct.
Abdel Rahman said it was not immediately clear if there was any coordination between the SDF and Assad's forces.
"Once ISIS is defeated in both Mosul and Raqqah, there will still be a lot of hard fighting ahead, but this Coalition is strong and committed to the complete annihilation of ISIS in both Iraq and Syria", he added. Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist group aligned with the PKK which has fought a bloody campaign in southeast Turkey since 1984.
The SDF, whose main component is a Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, has been the main recipient of USA support in Syria.
The United States said on Tuesday it had started distributing arms to YPG to help take Raqqa, part of a plan that has angered NATO-ally Turkey, which is anxious about growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria.
Thousands of civilians have fled the northern city as the SDF has closed in on it. The Raqqa campaign has "resulted in massive civilian casualties, displacement and serious infrastructure destruction" so far, it said in a May report.
According to the Britain-based Observatory, the death toll in Monday's attack could rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.
Deraa, the city where the Syrian war began in March 2011 with anti-government protests, is part of the four "de-escalation zones" agreed on earlier this month during ceasefire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. "Morale is high and military readiness to implement the military plan is complete, in coordination with the US -led coalition".
The monitor recorded the coalition's deadliest month for Syrian civilians between April 23 and May 23, with 225 civilians killed.
Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko has won the French Open , beating No. 3 Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to claim her first tour-level title. The unseeded Latvian upset Simona Halep with a ferocious performance full of both winners and unforced errors.
Sharapova had missed out on a wildcard for the ongoing French Open as she continues her comeback from a 15-month doping ban. On the same day, she suffered the thigh injury which has now sidelined her from Wimbledon for a second successive season.
But the Congressional Budget Office is projecting 1.9 percent growth, while the Fed projects 1.8 percent. But Congress must not lose sight of the most important part of the American treasury: Americans.
The US state department condemned the attack, saying "the depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful civilised world". Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attacks would have "no effect" on the country.
Benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $49.67 a barrel at 0849 GMT, down 96 cents from the previous close. July WTI futures consolidated around $47.15 p/b at the United States open with August Brent trading around $49.40 p/b.
Bharara said it's "reasonable" to assume Mueller is looking at the obstruction issue among others as part of his investigation. Bharara was asked by the Trump administration to put in his papers along with 45 other U.S. attorneys on March 10.
President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States , on June 1, 2017. He also lavished praise on the prime minister of Montenegro, whom Trump shoved aside in Brussels during a photo op.
Sasse says the numbers work against replacement of the Affordable Care Act with only 52 Republicans in the United States Senate. Supporters of the AHCA have said it would give states more flexibility in providing health care.
The only area where Nashville wasn't markedly better than the defending Stanley Cup champions is the only one that really matters. It's Aberg's second goal of the playoffs. "We're concerned about where the series is at", Predators captain Mike Fisher said.
Qatar yesterday moved to avoid an escalation of the feud, telling citizens of its Gulf neighbours that they are welcome to stay. The decision will come as a relief to the more than 11,000 people from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain living in Qatar.
According to Fulton County Police Cpl. "I'm not real sure if she's critical or what", the victim's aunt Glenda Roberson said. The church posted on its Facebook page that there are "several serious injuries" but did not provide further details.
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Coroner: Nevada woman says child's body in Illinois garage
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