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I.S. defeat in Raqqa expected within days -Kurd militia

Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 01:35

Islamic State is on the verge of defeat in their de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa, with U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters telling Reuters the city could be cleared over the weekend.

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The defeat of Islamic State in their de facto Syrian capital appears to be imminent. U.S.-backed fighters from the Kurdish YPG militia telling Reuters that they expect the city could be cleared of the jihadists by the end of the weekend. A U.S. military official speaking on behalf of the coalition says about a hundred Islamic State members surrendered in the span of a day. There are also reports that some remaining I.S. militants are being bussed out of the city in a deal brokered with the coalition. Coalition representatives couldn't immediately confirm, yet it would follow a pattern seen in other Syrian battles. Raqqa's been under siege since June and Islamic State's loss there will be considered a major milestone for the international effort to destroy their self-declared caliphate. But like what happened to Mosul in Iraq and other former I.S. territories, there's now a delicate path forward to reconstruction and reconciliation for those who lived under years of their rule. It's already started on the city's outskirts. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FORMER ISLAMIC STATE MEMBER, IMAD ALMALLAWI, SAYING: "I worked an administrative job, checkpoints, some unimportant managerial stuff. But I wasn't involved in the fighting and many people can confirm that." It's a familiar tale and one that can't be verified. The battle for Raqqa has taken a heavy toll on civilians - human rights groups believe hundreds have been killed in the fighting, after months of shortages in food and medicine.

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I.S. defeat in Raqqa expected within days -Kurd militia

Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 01:35