The Latest: Syria complains to UN about US airstrikes

The Latest: Syria complains to UN about US airstrikes
The Latest: Syria complains to UN about US airstrikes

BEIRUT – The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

Syria's Foreign Ministry is complaining to the U.N. about airstrikes carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group citing new mass graves discovered.

The ministry called on the U.N. secretary-general and the head of the Security Council to force the U.S.-led coalition to stop its airstrikes in Syria.

Thursday's statement came a day after a Syrian medical official said a new mass grave was discovered in the northern city of Raqqa that until last year was a stronghold and the de facto capital of IS. Syrian officials say the bodies of both civilians and IS fighters have been found in the graves.

The head of Al-Raqqa Doctors' Syndicate, Jamal al-Issa, said the new mass grave includes more than 1,500 bodies who were killed by airstrikes of the U.S.-led coalition that gave cover to U.S.-backed Syrian fighters who captured Raqqa from IS in October last year.

Al-Issa said that 4,000 dead persons in the city who were found in mass graves were added to those who were buried in the courtyard of the houses or were pulled out from underneath the rubble.

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5:15 p.m.

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar says joint U.S-Turkish patrols around the northern Syrian town of Manbij have begun.

Akar said combined patrols, that are part of a roadmap aimed at easing tensions between the two allies, began on Thursday.

Ankara and Washington agreed on a roadmap in June amid Turkish demands for the withdrawal of the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia that freed Manbij from the Islamic State group in 2016.

The U.S. and the Turks have been conducting independent patrols along the front line and joint patrols are considered a way to tamp down potential violence between the various groups in the region.

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2:25 p.m.

An official with a U.S.-backed militia says joint U.S.-Turkish patrols will begin within hours around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, part of a roadmap for easing tensions between the two NATO allies.

Sharfan Darwish, spokesman of the Manbij Military Council, told The Associated Press that the patrols will begin later Thursday.

Ankara and Washington agreed on a roadmap in June amid Turkish demands for the withdrawal of the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia that freed Manbij from the Islamic State group in 2016.

The Americans and the Turks have been conducting independent patrols along the border, and joint patrols are seen as a way of preventing violence.

The Manbij Military Council that administers the town says the Kurdish militia, which Turkey views as a terrorist group, left Manbij in July.

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