US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters advance into ISIS bastion Manbij, in northern Syria, on June 23, 2016. / AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN
Reuters: U.S. backed Syrian rebels launch attack on IS-held town near Iraqi border
Syrian rebels launched an attack on a town held by Islamic State near the Iraqi border on Tuesday, senior commanders said, opening a new front against militants also facing an offensive from U.S.-backed forces in the north.
If the rebel New Syria Army succeeds in capturing the town of Al-Bukamal from Islamic State (IS), it would hamper the jihadists' ability to move between the Iraqi and Syrian territories of their self-declared caliphate.
Armed and equipped by the U.S.-led coalition, the New Syria Army was formed 18 months ago from Arab rebels driven out of eastern Syria by Islamic State as it expanded its territories in mid-2014 following the capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul.
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Update: US-backed forces enter IS bastion in Syria amid clashes (AP)
WNU Editor: U.S. officials remain upbeat .... U.S. official sees progress against Islamic State, war continuing (Reuters).