But one crucial steppingstone in the campaign to oust the militant group from Raqqa was finally reached Tuesday, when President Donald Trump chose to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters poised to move in on the northern Syrian city.
Syrian Kurdish-led forces say they are carrying out mine-clearing operations at the country's largest dam and the nearby town of Tabqa a day after seizing them from Islamic State militants.
An SDF commander, identified only as Abdelqader, declined to specify dates at a news conference, citing tactical reasons.
No newly authorised aid had been delivered yet, Hassan said, but he added that "I believe this support will arrive soon".
The Pentagon said Isis had been using the dam as a "key coordination hub" after territorial losses in northern Syria saw the group move its foreign fighters and external attack planning to Tabqa in an effort to divert air strikes.
The battle for Tabqa was marked by fears that the dam would be severely damaged and collapse, leading to massive flooding downstream.
A USA defence official said earlier this week that the equipment would include small arms, ammunition, machine guns, armoured vehicles and bulldozers.
Signs sticking from a street post read "Know that paradise is achieved through combat", and "Prepare to fight with all your strength".
The US knew about it, but "it wouldn't have been our preference", the official told AFP.
"The civilians are coming back but there is a lack of water, electricity, bread and food", he said, sitting in front of a pile of sandbags.
The reaction to Trump's decision from Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and an important ally in the fight against Islamic State, was swift and blunt.
Arming the Kurds is the right tack for Trump to take, a decision that for months we have been urging both Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, to make. "We will be monitoring it in real time". "We hated them, but we re afraid they ll come back to Tabqa", she added.
The SDF is dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), seen by the United States as an indispensable ally in the fight against IS but considered a "terrorist group" by Turkey.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to convince Mr Trump to reverse his administration's decision to arm the YPG when the two leaders meet at the White House next week.
Turkey has shelled YPG positions inside Syria but has also backed rebel groups against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and against IS jihadists.
Tens of thousands of people living in besieged areas around Damascus, Homs and Aleppo - Syria's largest city - have surrendered under similar agreements in recent months, agreeing to relocate in what critics have said amounts to forced displacement.
Jacari Harris, a junior and former student body president, told the Washington Post that the education secretary was " awesome ". That gives us profound understanding of the thousands of petitions signed calling for Jackson's resignation.
Mr Bowen said his party was still dissecting the increase to the Medicare levy, which it is proposed will raise about $8 billion. So the Treasurer has delivered a budget that lifts the Medicare levy for all but the lowest income earners in two years' time.
It was a big and warm welcome for Edwin Encarnacion returning to Toronto, as he received a standing ovation in his first at bat. He walked two Cleveland batters in the second inning and both would come in to score to provide the Indians with a 2-0 lead.
Atlanta let Washington bleed 10 seconds off the clock without fouling before grabbing a defensive board in a four-point game. The Wizards avoided the dismal start that essentially ruined their hopes in Game 3 before the first quarter was done.
Prosecutors said that Hernandez knew this and committed suicide so his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, could collect that money. Quinn III will appeal Garsh's decision to vacate Hernandez's conviction, saying the abatement is "antiquated".
This approach is what was always intended for the Board and we're making a clear break with the last administration's approach". Freire suggested that Scott Pruitt is not interested in maintaining the science-only direction of the board.
The F30 BMW 3 Series has been enhanced with new, standard equipment as part of a sweeping update to the company's model line-up. But now things are different. "We are refreshing our entire product portfolio and strengthening the performance side".
Even after Yates' initial explanation on January 26, White House Counsel Donald McGahn didn't seem to get it. A spokesman for Flynn did not immediately return a request for comment when asked about the subpoenas.
The stock was sold at an average price of GBX 2,450 ($31.69), for a total value of £520,600.50 ($673,306.39). Checking in on some valuation rankings, EM Systems Co., Ltd. (TSE:4820) has a Value Composite score of 43.
Wang Fuyou, Communist Party chief of the county, said the quake followed by frequent aftershocks was felt strongly. On March 27, An quake of 5.1 magnitude had jolted Yangbi County in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
This is a man who has spent the last 24 hours being called "Nixonian" and proceeded to stage a photo-op with Henry Kissinger . Asked if Trump was trying to stay out of public view, she said it was just the "nature of the calendar this week".
Underlying inflation is stuck below the RBA's target band of 2-3 percent with wages crawling at their slowest pace on record. That measure alone is expected to raise an additional $8.2 billion of taxes in its first two and a half years in operation.
New Ebola outbreak in DR Congo
That outbreak was not connected to the massive epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that left thousands dead. That experience helped Congolese authorities respond effectively to an outbreak in 2014 that killed 49 people.
Tom Brady the latest star on Madden game cover
EA notes that more information on Madden NFL 18 will be shown at EA Play on June 10, including a "brand-new mode". Players that have appeared on the cover have found their careers shortened, or have found themselves injured.
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive celebrates 25 years
The Edmonds Food Bank at United Methodist Church and the Westgate Chapel Food Bank together serve over 10,000 families per year. The United States Postal Service will partner with United Way again this year for the annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive .
NFL's wild opening round could yield more surprises on Day 2
Though the players are late round picks, don't think that means they're any less important than the people drafted before them. The first stunning move was the Bears trading with the 49ers to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2.
Murray out in third round
David Goffin awaits the victor of that clash after the Belgian beat world number six Milos Raonic 64, 62. France s Kristina Mladenovic also reached the last four in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 over Sorana Cristea.
US needs September 'shutdown' to fix Senate 'mess'
Donald Trump attacked the long-standing Senate procedure, when striking out at a negotiated budget deal on Capitol Hill. Why haven't Republicans already used reconciliation to get around hardline Democratic opposition to Trump's policies?
Spurs overcome Leonard injury, Harden to beat Rockets in OT
Without star Kawhi Leonard , Green took over in the final minute with Spurs trailing by 1. "I just missed shots", Harden said. Despite both his ankle and knee bothering him, Leonard still led the way for San Antonio with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
China presses South Korea on THAAD missile system
The Thaad missile system, aimed at intercepting attacks from North Korea, was made operational in South Korea last week. While taking the oath of office Wednesday, Moon said he's open to visiting North Korea under the right conditions.
Suspect in killing of Arkansas deputy captured
Mainhart was a five-year veteran of the Yell County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Bill Gilkey said. Negotiators are attempting to make contact with the individual during the hostage situation.
May denies energy bills cap is from 'Marxist universe'
Under the new proposal by the Conservatives, industry regulator Ofgem would set a cap for the default standard variable tariffs. The PM said five of the "big six" energy companies had recently raised prices while their profit margins hit "record levels".