ERBIL — The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Saturday a major military operation against Islamic State (IS) in the province of Deir al-Zor, an official said.

The SDF, backed by the US-led coalition, has been in fierce fighting with the extremist group in Raqqa, where it has so far recaptured more than 65% of the city.

The official, who spoke to Reuters on Friday, said it aims to move onto Deir al-Zor from the southern Hasakah territories.

In the Deir al-Zor assault, the SDF would push toward the Euphrates River from the east of the province, which borders Iraq, Reuters reported, noting that the operation will likely bring the U.S.-backed militias into closer proximity with the Syrian military and allied forces, who have advanced onto Deir al-Zor city.

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