The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced Sunday the start of an offensive on the Islamic State (IS) military group’s de facto Syrian capital of al-Raqqa, while the military operation against the IS in Iraq’s Mosul is ahead of schedule.
“The major battle to liberate al-Raqqa and its surroundings has begun,” SDF spokesperson Jihan Sheikh Ahmed told a press conference held in Ain Issa, some 50 km north of the city.
Indian authorities have closed all municipal schools in the Delhi region for three days, as the smog situation worsens. Following an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday, Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, announced new measures to deal with the air pollution, saying that some 1,700 schools will remain closed. He also advised people to stay indoors whenever possible and work from home. Moreover, the government has banned all construction and demolition work in the area for five days, and shut down the Badarpur thermal power plant for 10 days as well. With the extreme level of harmful particulates in the air – dozens of times higher than considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO) – the minister blamed farmers in neighboring states for the pollution, saying they have been illegally burning stubble.
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