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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters stormed a Syrian town held by Kurdish-led forces near Raqqa city on Monday, part of a wider offensive by the militants two days after their de facto capital was hit by some of the heaviest U.S.-led air strikes in the conflict.
The Kurdish YPG militia said it was fighting to expel Islamic State fighters who had attacked Ain Issa, captured from them only two weeks ago with aerial support from the U.S.-led military alliance. Ain Issa sits on a major east-west highway from Aleppo in the west to the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday a flurry of U.S. air strikes around Raqqa over the weekend was aimed at disrupting the ability of Islamic State fighters to parry advances by Kurdish forces.