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RAQQA BATTLE: US-BACKED SYRIAN FIGHTERS USES COVER OF NIGHT ADVANCING AGAINST DAESH

Faced with an onslaught of weaponised drones, mortar rounds and snipers, US-backed fighters in Syria's Raqqa say the cover of night is a good ally against the Daesh militant group.

The Syrian Democratic Forces are battling to oust the extremists from the northern city after breaking into its first neighbourhood last week.

After piercing into and taking the southeastern district of Al-Meshleb, the SDF fighters are now advancing towards the Old City.

In the daylight hours, at an apartment in Al-Meshleb, the Kurdish-led fighters catch some rest or sip tea after a night on the front line at the edge of the city's historic centre.

"We prefer to fight in the dark as we have thermal binoculars and weapons equipped with night vision scopes," says 20-year-old Kawa, giving his nom de guerre.

"There was fighting last night but not for long. The Daesh withdrew rapidly, faced with our attacks," says the SDF fighter.

In Al-Meshleb, SDF fighters sometimes run into shops and houses to avoid Daesh weaponised drones.

Tolhildan Botan points to one such small unmanned aircraft at the foot of a wall in the district, which he says fellow fighters had shot down.

Baran Hassake, a fellow fighter, says battling the Daesh is easier at night.

The US-led coalition backing the SDF has also been intensifying its air strikes at night, SDF commanders and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor say.

The United Nations on Wednesday warned of the danger for civilians of "excessive" air strikes on the city, where it says around 160,000 remain.

The SDF has retaken three neighbourhoods since entering the city on June 6, including Al-Senaa next to the Old City on Thursday.

This latest advance will allow SDF fighters to launch an assault on the Old City in Raqqa's densely populated centre, which contains key Daesh positions.

Source: Nam News Network