Thursday 22 February 2018

Syria forces launch 'final' battle to drive IS from Raqqa

Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria (Militant website/AP)
Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria (Militant website/AP)

US-backed Syrian fighters have launched an operation to retake the last Islamic State-held pocket in Raqqa after around 275 militants and their family members surrendered.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said the operation that began on Sunday will continue "until all the city is cleansed from terrorists who refused to surrender".

The attack comes a day after the US-led coalition and local officials said Syrian IS fighters and civilians would be allowed to leave Raqqa, once the capital of the extremist group's self-styled caliphate.

The coalition said foreign fighters would not be allowed to take part in the evacuation.

The SDF has been on the offensive in Raqqa since early June and now controls most of the city.

AP

Press Association

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