Syrian Kurdish forces confident they can capture IS 'capital'

Longtime allies sworn enemies and temporary bedfellows collide on Syria battlefield

Longtime allies sworn enemies and temporary bedfellows collide on Syria battlefield

The US is also said to be preparing to send up to 1,000 troops to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force that can deployed to fight IS in Syria and Iraq if necessary.

Kurdish officials have not confirmed the death toll, but there have been reports out of the YPG a few times claiming they were coming under attack from Turkish forces.

At the same time, Turkish forces shelling Kurds hit Syrian government forces, whose patron Moscow reportedly has advisers in the area.

"And as mid-level operational commanders are killed, they are being replaced by inexperienced fighters who are not able, in many cases, to marshal ISIS' dwindling forces".

Though the US has been hoping to include both Turkey and the battle-hardened Kurdish forces, Yildirim insisted Turkey wouldn't be part of any operation including the Syrian Kurdish force known as the YPG, considered by Ankara to be terrorists who threaten Turkey's security.

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Mr Assad said Russian Federation hopes it can bring the U.S. and Turkey into co-operating with Moscow and Damascus in the fight against terrorism in Syria.

The newspaper said that the troops will help in the upcoming battle to oust IS from Raqqa, adding that U.S. Marines will be temporarily stationed at "an outpost from which they can fire artillery guns".

These remarks from U.S. military figures come as Turkey reiterated its intention to strike the YPG as part of its ongoing military operation, dubbed "Euphrates Shield", to secure Turkey's southern border with Syria. Moreover, Washington is pushing ahead with partnering with the Kurdish-led forces in the planned attack on Raqqa, despite Turkish opposition.

Complicating the United States strategy is the fact that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is dead set against Raqqa falling to an Arab-Kurdish force under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The coalition said it was investigating the incident.

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In an earlier exchange with visiting foreign journalists, Yildirim said ties between the two countries would be significantly undermined, though he declined to name any specific steps Turkey — a member of the US -led coalition fighting IS — might take in response. If we take it with the global coalition, we will be a force to be reckoned with in the region.

But when Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) emerged as reliable factions, the US opted to render support to this group, and allied rebel fighters, which emerged later, such as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which comprises of Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians.

Meanwhile, as Turkish troops and their Syrian allies advanced east of al-Bab and threatened to move on Manbij, Russia brokered a deal that effectively created a buffer zone between them and Kurdish-led forces by handing over some villages to Syrian government troops.

U.S. Army Stryker combat vehicles were recently spotted in Northeast Syria, prompting Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, to confirm via Twitter that American troops had deployed near Manbij, about 90 miles northwest of Raqqa. "The Americans lost almost every war", he continued.

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In-fighting between the Ankara backed rebels and the Kurdish led SDF in Manbij has seen questions raised on the when the offensive on Raqqa could begin.

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