TOPSHOT - Armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations forces ride in the back of a pickup truck in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqa on May 25, 2016.
US-backed Syrian fighters and Iraqi forces pressed twin assaults against the Islamic State group, in two of the most important ground offensives yet against the jihadists. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), formed in October 2015, announced on May 24 its push for IS territory north of Raqa city, which is around 90 kilometres (55 miles) south of the Syrian-Turkish border and home to an estimated 300,000 people. The SDF is dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) -- largely considered the most effective independent anti-IS force on the ground in Syria -- but it also includes Arab Muslim and Christian fighters.
/ AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN (Photo credit should read DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)