American who fought for ISIS captured by SDF


It said six of its fighters were wounded.

Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the State Department, told reporters earlier Thursday that anyone who goes to fight for ISIS "can't be very bright".

Such attacks "waste energies that should be used against terrorism, threaten the security of the region, and open the door to side conflicts", it said.

The Syrian Arab Army, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, has simultaneous operations ongoing in Deir ez-Zor.

The Russian airstrike came as the Syrian government forces backed by Moscow and the US -led coalition forces are in closer proximity in the battle against ISIS.

Members of the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the village of Hazima on the northern outskirts of Islamic State's Syrian bastion of Raqqah.

Should the Syrian Army liberate Mohassan in the coming weeks, the troops will then be a mere 20 km away from Al-Mayadeen, which is the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.

Elsewhere in Syria, today is the 103rd day of operations to defeat ISIS in Raqqa, he added, and yesterday the SDF gained nine blocks or so in the city and almost 4 square miles to the east and north of Raqqa.

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The warplanes struck as the SDF waged "heated and bloody battles" in the industrial zone on the eastern bank, seizing factories from Islamic State militants, he said.

Abu Khawla warned government forces and their militia allies against firing across the river as his fighters close in - something he said had happened in recent days.

But the SDF recently announced its own push toward the city, "Operation Jazeera Storm", and a group of its fighters have made rapid gains, capturing some 300 square kilometers (115 square miles) from ISIS along the Khabur River, which intersects with the Euphrates River just south of the city. European governments and others have said that any of their nationals captured should be returned for trial at home.

"I'm not saying this will happen tomorrow ... but this is the strategic intent", Bouthaina Shaaban said in a TV interview.

Abu Khawla was a member of a Free Syrian Army rebel group in Deir al-Zor until Islamic State took over most of the province in 2014 at the height of its expansion in Syria and Iraq.

The strikes had only hit targets in areas under the control of Islamic State, he said.

The group is supported by USA weapons, air strikes and intelligence as they battle IS in Syria, where the fight is now focused on Raqqa and the Euphrates River valley.