Airstrikes Hit Islamic State in Raqqa
The U.S. led a group of planes on airstrikes Tuesday against Islamic State positions in Raqqa, Syria.
A British-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the attacks targeted IS on the outskirts of the city. This could have been to avoid civilian casualties, although civilian deaths were reported.
IS has declared Raqqa its capital in Syria. Political activists in Raqqa say Islamic State is using innocent people as human shields. They say IS places fighters and weapons in civilian housing.
The reports come a day after a group of Syrian militias backed by the U.S. moved against IS north of Raqqa. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the move in a video posted online.
The SDF are made up of at least 25,000 Syrian Kurds, as well as 5,000 to 6,000 Syrian Arabs.
The new push against IS is on areas north of Raqqa, not the city, a senior commander for the U.S. allied group told VOA.
The SDF commander said his troops were moving with tanks and other heavy weapons toward areas north of Raqqa.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported intense fighting between SDF and IS forces around villages about 56 kilometers north of Raqqa.
Colonel Steve Warren is a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State. He said the coalition will support SDF, but U.S. Special Forces are giving assistance and advice, not fighters.
U.S. officials have downplayed expectations that forces will be able to capture Raqqa anytime soon.
A European diplomat told VOA the plan is to surround much of Raqqa and capture villages north, west and south of the city.
Hussam Eisa, from Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, said most civilians have fled those towns for Raqqa.
In Washington, U.S. Senator John McCain told VOA's Azerbaijani Service that capturing Raqqa would be "very difficult."
“They will not go down easy," McCain said. "They will fight to retain their territorial capital."
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.made up of 由...组成
Human tissue is made up of cells.
2.a group of 一组；一群
I have been talking to a group of salesmen.
3.Human Rights 人权
Let us unite to fight for human rights.
4.civilian casualties 平民伤亡
They took care to avoid civilian casualties.
1.The SDF are made up of at least 25,000 Syrian Kurds, as well as 5,000 to 6,000 Syrian Arabs.
as well as 也；和...一样
Boys as well as girls are taught cookery in school these days.
Brothers and sisters do not always agree as well as they should.
2.“They will not go down easy," McCain said. "They will fight to retain their territorial capital."
go down 下降；平静
Our labor costs did not go down accordingly.
When the sun started to go down,he stopped and set up a tent.
总部位于英国的叙利亚人权观察组织表示，此次空袭是为打击郊区的IS武装分子 。这样可以避免平民伤亡，但有报道称已有平民伤亡 。
IS宣称拉卡为“首都” 。地缘政治人士表示，IS将无辜的平民作人肉挡箭牌 。IS在平民家中藏匿武装分子和大量武器 。
美国支持的叙利亚联军开始收复拉卡北部地区，次日空袭拉卡的报道便公布出来 。以库尔德人为首的叙利亚民主部队在网上公布的视频中宣告了此次行动 。
史蒂夫·沃伦上校是美国支持的反“伊斯兰国”组织联盟的发言人 。他表示联军会支持自卫队，但是特种部队不会参与，只提供帮助和建议 。
胡萨姆·伊萨(Hussam Eisa)来自正在遭遇无声屠杀的拉卡市，他说拉卡各镇的大多数村民早已逃离 。
在华盛顿方面，美国参议员约翰·麦凯恩(John McCain)对阿塞拜疆处的美国之音表示，攻下拉卡绝非易事 。
麦凯恩说，“打击IS需要付出巨大的努力 。‘伊斯兰国’组织并非轻而易举就能攻破 。”“他们会拼死捍卫领土 。”