Syrian rebels prepare for assault on IS logistics hub
Fresh supplies of ammunition have arrived to Syrian opposition fighters ahead of a key battle against Islamic State group militants in eastern Syria.
Rebels and allied Kurdish fighters are poised to attack al-Shadadi town, an important logistics and supply for IS, which lies close to the Iraqi border.
Bullets and explosives supplied by the US have arrived to frontline fighters by land over the past few days in anticipation of the assault, anonymous US sources told Reuters.
If Shadadi in Hassekeh province is captured it could isolate the group's defacto capital Raqqa from its other territories in Syria and Iraq.
Capturing the town would also prove a major military blow for the group and a blow to morale.
Shadadi is known as a major weapons depot for IS fighters in the area, Colonel Steve Warren, spokesperson for the US-led coalition against the group said.
There are around 5,000 Syrian Arab fighters taking part in a campaign against IS along with allied Kurdish forces.
Together they form the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces military alliance, who are dedicated solely to fighting IS.
The US has been reluctant to support other rebel groups fighting IS due to sensitivities about weapons falling into extremist hands or being used against the Syrian regime.
This is the third time weapons have arrived to the Syrian opposition fighters from the US since October.
Washington has made no official comment about the operation.
However, President Barack Obama has promised US support for Syrian opposition forces fighting IS.