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Precision Strikes Kill 150 IS Terrorists in Syria, Coalition Says

FILE - Smoke rises near a stadium where Islamic State militants were holed up, after an airstrike by coalition forces at the front line in Raqqa, Oct. 12, 2017.

The U.S.-led counter-Islamic State coalition says precision strikes killed about 150 IS terrorists Saturday in eastern Syria.

A statement from the coalition said the strikes took out an IS headquarters and command-and-control center near as-Shafah, Syria, in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.

"Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the ground, who continue to be engaged in heavy fighting against hard-core ISIS remnants attempting to regroup, assisted in target observation prior to the strikes," the coalition said Tuesday, using another abbreviation for Islamic State.

The heavily concentrated IS fighters appeared to be massing for movement, showing that "the fight to liberate Syria is far from over," said Major General James Jarrard, the commanding general who heads the U.S.-led Special Operations task force targeting the Islamic State.

Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson outlined plans for the U.S. to remain engaged in Syria, both diplomatically and militarily, long after the defeat of IS to prevent a resurgence of several terrorist groups.

Islamic State has lost more than 98 percent of the land it once claimed as part of its so-called physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.