Members of the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron were accustomed to the conflict conditions of Afghanistan, in which airstrikes aren't often carried out in close quarters.
But one A-10 Thunderbolt II unit summoned into the dense, urban environment of Raqqa, Syria, where Islamic State fighters and snipers hid within buildings, found itself testing new ways to support U.S.-backed militia on the ground, contributing to the city's liberation in late 2017.
A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) holds her weapon as they announce the destruction of Islamic State's control of land in eastern Syria, at al-Omar oil field in Deir Al Zor, Syria March 23, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
DEIR AL-ZOR PROVINCE, Syria (Reuters) - U.S.-backed forces proclaimed the capture ofIslamic State's last territory in Syria on Saturday, eliminating its rule over a self-proclaimed "caliphate", but the jihadists remain a threat from sleeper cells around the world.