U.S. fighters stand near military vehicles, north of Raqqa city, Syria November 6, 2016. The operation by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and some Arab groups, began on Saturday and aims to encircle and ultimately capture Raqqa. It should add to the pressure on IS as it faces a major assault on its Iraqi bastion of Mosul.
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Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commanders attend a news conference in Ain Issa, Raqqa Governorate, Syria November 6, 2016. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organisation that monitors the multi-sided Syrian conflict, said the SDF forces had so far captured a number of IS positions but there had been "no real progress".
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An Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter stands with his weapon on the rubble of a destroyed building, north of Raqqa city, Syria November 7, 2016. U.S-backed Syrian armed groups have captured a number of villages in the first days of an offensive to retake the city of Raqqa from Islamic State militants, a war monitor and a Kurdish source said on Monday.