US helicopters drop Kurdish, Arab fighters west of Raqqa

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March 25, 2017, 11:23 AM (IDT)

Kurdish and Arab fighters dropped by American helicopters over a region west of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa quickly captured at least five villages and so cut jihadist concentrations in the northwestern Syria from their Raqqa stronghold. DEBKAfile: This operation was the opening shot of the US-led campaign to isolate the Islamic State’s Syrian capital before storming it. The YPG Kurdish militiamen are fighting alongside north Syrian Shammar tribesmen. Read DEBKAfile's Exclusive Report on ISIS countermoves.

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