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WASHINGTON, June 1. /TASS/. The armed groups of the Syrian opposition with support of the US special forces launched a large-scale offensive on Wednesday against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS) in the north of Syria, in the area of the Manbij city near the border with Turkey, the US administration officials told Reuters.
They said that the main objective of the operation was to cut off the Islamists from Turkish territory.
"It’s significant in that it's their last remaining funnel" to Europe, a US military official said. According to him, the offensive mainly involves the Syrian Arabs groups.
Perhaps essential for NATO ally Turkey, the operation will be overwhelmingly comprised of Syrian Arabs instead of forces with the Kurdish YPG militia, who will only represent about a fifth or a sixth of the overall force, the officials said, according to Reuters.
A small number of US special operations forces will support the offensive on the ground, acting as advisors and staying some distance back from the front lines, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss military planning, the agency said.