Russian Federation says US-led coalition colludes with IS in Syria

Oil well pumps

We review key events in Syria, including USA coalition forces downing a pro-government drone, Syrian warplanes striking positions of the so-called Islamic State outside Raqqa and reports of ISIS militants retreating from Raqqa in light of SDF advances.

“Instead of eliminating terrorists guilty of hundreds and thousands of Syrian civilian deaths, the US-led worldwide coalition alongside with their proxies, Syrian Democratic Forces, collude with IS field commanders, who surrender their positions and sites without resistance and head towards the regions where Syrian government forces actively conduct military operations, ” he said.

The SDF made notable gains in the eastern and western flanks of the city, amid talks of some withdrawal of IS commanders toward the Syrian Desert, where the army is fighting to eliminate IS and to keep them from reaching other destination near the ancient city of Palmyra.

The violence came as Syrian troops and their allies have been clashing in southeastern Syria with US -backed rebels near the border with Iraq. The strikes are believed to have killed dozens of Syrian soldiers and Iranian-backed militia forces, in addition to destroying tanks and heavy weapons. The Kurdish-led force has been advancing on the ISIS stronghold from the west, north and southeast.

Islamic State militants seized the city in January 2014, transforming it into a hub for the group's leadership and its self-described caliphate.

It added that at least seven other civilians were killed in air strikes late on June 8 and early on June 9.

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UNICEF warned "an estimated 40,000 children remain trapped in unsafe conditions in Raqqa city".

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said the SDF now controlled around two-thirds of Al-Meshleb and was some 400 metres (yards) from the neighbouring Al-Senaa district. He urged all parties to give safe passage to those who want to leave.

On Wednesday, an AFP journalist entered the city with SDF fighters and witnessed heavy clashes in the Al-Meshleb neighbourhood, with IS firing mortar rounds towards the advancing forces.

In a video posted on its Aamaq news agency, ISIS also alleged the coalition used white phosphorous over Raqqa on Thursday at dusk, when Muslims would have been breaking their Ramadan fasts.

Worldwide law prohibits the use of white phosphorous in civilian zones because of its indiscriminate effects - from starting fires to causing excruciating burns for bystanders over a large area - according to Human Rights Watch, which said it was investigating the allegations.

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