Syria Democratic Forces / AP

Syrian troops, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, have begun an operation designed to capture Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State. Details, sourced from multiple media reports:

  • The Syrian force is called the SDF, via AP: "Talal Sillo, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told reporters Tuesday that operations have begun in coordination with the U.S.-led coalition... Raqqa is currently surrounded from the east, north and west..."
  • Details on the it, from BBC: "The SDF, which is says it is not aligned with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad or the rebel forces seeking to overthrow him, has driven IS from about [2,300 square miles] of northern Syria over the past year."
  • Quote from SDF spokesman to Al Jazeera: "In addition to warplanes, there are coalition forces working side by side with the Syrian Democratic Forces."

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USPS pushes election officials to pay more for mail ballots

Protesters gather in Kalorama Park in D.C. today before demonstrating outside the condo of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Photo: Cheriss May/Reuters

The Postal Service has urged state election officials to pay first class for mail ballots, which Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says could nearly triple the cost.

Why it matters: Senate Democrats claim that "it has been the practice of USPS to treat all election mail as First Class mail regardless of the paid class of service."