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fight against ISIS

U.S.-backed alliance quickly gaining ground against ISIS in Syria

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, 10 days into its latest campaign to capture Raqqa, Syria, from the Islamic State, is quickly making gains against the militants.

An SDF spokesman told Reuters its fighters are just a few miles from a major dam on the Euphrates River, about 30 miles west of Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria. The SDF alliance, which includes the Kurdish YPG militia, is targeting areas held by ISIS west of Raqqa in an attempt to drive the militants out of the city. The spokesman said the alliance has captured 1,300 square kilometers from ISIS over the last 10 days. ISIS has been using suicide car bombs against the alliance, but they are using special weapons to destroy the vehicles before they reach their targets. During the latest offensive, 15 alliance fighters have been killed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group also said it's likely that Abu Jandal al-Kuwaiti, one of the top ISIS commanders in Syria, was killed Monday while fighting to recapture the village of Jabar.