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US-backed Syria force launches new anti-IS assault in Deir Ezzor

US-backed fighters launched a new offensive on Saturday to oust the Islamic State group from swathes of Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province, a top commander announced. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are already fighting for IS's de facto capital in Raqa, and they will now aim to clear the jihadists from territory east of the Euphrates River, said Ahmad Abu Khawlah. Abu Khawlah, who heads the SDF's Deir Ezzor Military Council (DEMC), read the statement at a press conference in the village of Abu Fas in Syria's northeast Hasakeh province.
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