Backed Syrian fighters advancing on Daesh from east, west linkup in Raqqa

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters walk along a damaged street in eastern Raqqa Syria

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

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported a three-kilometre tailback at the Oncupinar border crossing, located further east, after trucks were rerouted from Cilvegozu. "If they have headquarters, if they're planning, if they're conducting external operations, they do not have sanctuary in Iraq and Syria".

Last month, al-Qaida-linked Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham - Arabic for Levant Liberation Committee - also known as HTS, captured the majority of Idlib province after battles with the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group. "(The threat) is security", he said.

The U.N.'s migration agency says over 600,000 displaced Syrians have returned to their homes this year, citing an increasing trend of returns while warning the situation remains "not sustainable".

These battles aim to eliminate the IS in the key cities in Syria, as part of a Russian-U.S. understanding, which allows the Kurdish-led SDF to capture Raqqa city, and the Syrian army to claw back Deir al-Zour.

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Jihan Sheikh Ahmed, the SDF spokeswoman for the Raqqa campaign, said the women would be mainly deployed to the battlefront against Isis in Raqqa. She said however that the 2017 returns were less than the number of displaced this year: almost 809,000.

Beyond Europe, Daesh is seeking to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia, the report said, citing the southern Philippines where a bloody urban siege had killed nearly 700 people in more than two months fighting.

An estimated 10,000 to 25,000 people are stuck in the city, the Islamic State group's main stronghold, said United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who noted that "exact figures remain hard to verify due to the situation on the ground".

"The fighting is ongoing from room to room and from house to house", said Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media centre.

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