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Syria war: Alliance poised for new assault on Raqqa

From BBC - October 14, 2017

A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters is poised to begin a new offensive in the Syrian city of Raqqa shortly, a commander has told the BBC.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been fighting so-called Islamic State (IS) militants in the group's former stronghold for nearly four months.

Reports that IS are withdrawing from the city are untrue, SDF sources said.

But in a statement to news agencies the alliance said about 100 IS fighters had surrendered.

There was speculation that Syrian fighters would be allowed safe passage along with their families and injured.

But negotiations between Raqqa leaders and IS fighters failed after the latter insisted on leaving the city in a secured convoy with their light and medium weapons.

However, another report suggested that only foreign fighters remained in Raqqa after Syrian members of IS were allowed to leave with their families for unknown destinations.

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