In Syria’s Raqa, anti-IS fighters advance at night

Raqa (Syria) (AFP) – Faced with an onslaught of weaponised drones, mortar rounds and snipers, US-backed fighters in Syria’s Raqa say the cover of night is a good ally against Islamic State group jihadists.

The Syrian Democratic Forces are battling to oust the extremists from the northern city after breaking into its first neighbourhood last week.

After piercing into and taking the southeastern district of Al-Meshleb, the SDF fighters are now advancing towards the Old City.

In the daylight hours, at an apartment in Al-Meshleb, the Kurdish-led fighters catch some rest or sip tea after a night on the front line at the edge of the city’s historic centre.

“We prefer to fight in the dark as we have thermal binoculars and weapons equipped with night vision scopes,” says 20-year-old Kawa, giving his nom de guerre.

“There was fighting last night but not for long. The jihadists withdrew rapidly,…

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