Europe

US-backed Syrian fighters inch closer to IS 'capital'

U.S.-backed fighters have captured a village in northern Syria from members of the Islamic State group, bringing them closer to cutting a road linking two major cities in the country and closing in on the extremists' de facto capital.

The Syria Democratic Forces has been on the offensive toward the city of Raqqa since November and are getting closer to taking it.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the SDF said Saturday that the predominantly-Kurdish SDF captured the village of Jawees.

The Observatory said SDF fighters are getting close to cutting the road that the extremists use to travel between Raqqa and the eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

SDF fighters now control most of the villages and towns north of Raqqa and are gaining ground in eastern areas.