Islamic State counter-attack ‘pushes Syrian regime forces from Raqqa province’

Jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant drove Syrian regime troops out of Raqqa province on Monday, killing dozens of fighters in a lightning counter-attack, a monitoring group said.

The attack was mounted late on Sunday in response to a regime offensive in the Isil stronghold of Raqqa that began on June 3 that advanced about 12 miles toward the town of Tabqa, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It came as John Kerry, US Secretary of State, said he had read a memo from a group of frustrated diplomats urging strikes against the Syrian regime and found it “very good”.