Syrian Islamic State fighters have left al-Raqqa, watchdog says

Cairo - Syrian fighters linked to Islamic State left the city of al-Raqqa this week, as foreign fighters of the extremist militia continue to hide inside the former stronghold, a monitoring group reported on Saturday.

All Syrian members of Islamic State and their families have departed from al-Raqqa to unknown destinations, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.
The last batch left Friday night, the Observatory head, Rami Abdel-Rahman, told dpa.
Their departure comes under an agreement between the Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - which is backed by the US - and Islamic State, the watchdog said.
Negotiations are underway between both sides to allow the safe departure of foreign militants and their families from al-Raqqa, the radical group’s former de facto capital in Syria, the Observatory added.
Buses are waiting on the outskirts of the north-eastern city to transport them to the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.
“The obstacle to their departure is that the mastermind of attacks in Paris in November 2015 is believed to be among them and he has refused to surrender,” Abdel-Rahman said.
Some 130 people were killed in a coordinated series of attacks by Islamic State supporters in the French capital in November 2015.
So far, there has been no comment from SDF forces, which have been fighting to seize al-Raqqa from Islamic State since June.
The extremist group seized al-Raqqa in early 2014.

Saturday, October 14th 2017

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