"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

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Saturday, June 03, 2017

Kurdish YPG says 'major operation' on Syria's Raqqa to start in days- Reuters

A U.S.-backed operation by Syrian forces to capture Islamic State's Syrian "capital" of Raqqa will start in the next "few days", the spokesman for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Saturday.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias backed by the U.S.-led coalition, has been encircling Raqqa since November in a multi-phased campaign to drive Islamic State from the city where it has planned attacks on the West.

The assault on Raqqa will pile more pressure on Islamic State's self-declared "caliphate" with the group facing defeat in the Iraqi city of Mosul and being forced into retreat across much of Syria, where Deir al-Zor is its last major foothold.

"The forces reached the outskirts of the city, and the major operation will start ... in the coming few days," YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud told Reuters by phone.