World News

U.S.-led coalition air drops Syrian rebel forces in Raqqa province

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition has airlifted Syrian rebel forces in an operation near the Syrian town of Tabqa in Raqqa province and provided them fire support, U.S. defense officials said on Wednesday.

Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said U.S. air assets had been used to airlift members of the Syrian Arab Coalition, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces group, in a bid to retake the Tabqa Dam.

He did not provide details on the size of the forces moved or what type of fire support was provided.

The operation aims both to capture the strategic Tabqa area across the Euphrates River from the SDF’s other holdings and to curb Syrian government advances in that direction, the U.S.-backed alliance of militias said in a statement on a social media feed. [nL5N1GZ3FP]

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Alistair Bell