Backed Syrian fighters pressure IS militants in Raqqa

ISIS militants on parade

A group of 17 Indonesians who had joined the Islamic State group in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa have been handed over to representatives of their country and have left Syria, a local Kurdish official and a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

At least 30 civilians were killed in US-led airstrikes on the Islamic State positions in Syria's Raqqa city, a monitor group has said.

Civilians have recently been fleeing Raqqa, as a result of the battles in Raqqa waged by the Russian-backed Syrian army and the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to drive IS out of its stronghold in Raqqa.

"Despite these fierce and suicidal tactics [of ISIS], the SDF continues to progress", Dillon said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombardments killed nine women and 14 children, about half of which were from one family, over the previous 24 hours.

"Our forces have saved two Armenian families today", said Mustafa Bali, Director of the Information Office of the SDF about the operation that saved the families from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. The two sides are locked in a grinding battle of attrition that ranks among the toughest challenges to date for the anti-Islamic State coalition.

The al-Qaida-linked militant group Levant Liberation Committee captured the crossing last month after battles with the ultraconservative Syrian rebel Ahrar al-Sham group. "The security conditions in the area are so complex that the handling process can not be done easily", he said.

But spokeswoman Olivia Headon also cautioned about the huge number of displaced Syrians this year - almost 809,000.

The U.N. migration agency said its partner agencies have found that two-thirds of the returnees have gone to the northern Aleppo province, where government forces ousted rebels from the city of Aleppo past year.

Related News: