Some foreign Daesh fighters evacuated from Syria's Raqqa under deal with US-backed SDF

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 15.10.2017 10:05
Updated 15.10.2017 10:48
emReuters Photo/em
Reuters Photo

Some foreign Daesh group fighters have left the one-time terrorist bastion of Raqqa in Syria under a deal as the city's capture nears, a local official said Sunday.

"A portion of the foreigners have left," said Omar Alloush, a senior member of the Raqqa Civil Council, when asked about a deal announced Saturday for Daesh terrorists to evacuate the city.

Alloush, however, would not say how many fighters remain in the city, where the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is predominantly led by the PKK terror group's Syrian affiliate the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG), have hemmed them into a small enclave.

The SDF continued to battle Daesh terrorists who remain in the city, SDF spokesman Mostafa Bali said.

"Last night, the final batch of fighters (who agreed to leave) left the city," said Bali.

Bali said no foreign fighters had left in the convoy, but an official in the Raqqa Civilian Council, set up by the SDF and its allies to oversee the running of the city, said a group of them had departed with the others.

An SDF spokesman said earlier that a group of Syrian Daesh fighters without foreign militants had evacuated Raqqa overnight, taking civilians with them as human shields.

The SDF has been battling since June to defeat Daesh terrorists in Raqqa, which served as the terrorist group's de facto capital in Syria.

On late August, Russia-backed Assad regime was involved in a similar evacuation deal with Daesh terrorists regarding their enclave on the border with Lebanon. Under protests, monitoring and airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition, it took more than 15 days for the evacuation convoy to reach central city of Deir el-Zour.

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