ISIS ‘Capital’ Seized
By Giulia Campos 10/19/2017
An American-backed militia group has fully taken control of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State.
Commander Talal Salo told The New York Times that the “military operation is over” but there still might be suicide bombers in the city as well as hidden booby-traps with “explosive devices” and “unexploded ordnance.”
The seizing of Raqqa has marked a major turnover against the Islamic State (ISIS) but the city is still in ruins. Over 1,000 civilians were killed in the process and 270,000 people were displaced. Hassan Mohammad Ali, a member of a civilian council backed by the United States and the Syrian Democratic Forces, told the Times, however, that the city is finally able to undergo reconstruction.
Islamic State commanders and fighters are evacuating to Deir al-Zour, also known as the town of Mayadeen, and are taking heavy equipment with them. The Times also reported that it is unclear what happened with the last hundred fighters still in Raqqa and there “were conflicting reports about whether foreign fighters among them would be allowed to evacuate on buses in a surrender deal.”