“Together, with our allies and partners, we will support diplomatic negotiations that end the violence, allow refugees to return safely home, and yield a political transition that honours the will of the Syrian people,” said Donald Trump.
“Our mission is to make sure that any foreign fighter who is here, who joined ISIS from a foreign country and came into Syria, they will die here in Syria,” said Brett McGurk, the top US envoy for the anti-IS coalition
“Our work is far from over but the liberation of Raqqa is a critical milestone in the global fight against ISIS, and underscores the success of the ongoing international and Syrian effort to defeat these terrorists,” said Rex Tillerson
The fall of Raqqa marks a major defeat for the extremist group, which has seen its self-styled Islamic caliphate steadily shrink since summer.
A formal declaration of victory in Raqqa, Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, will soon be made once the city has been cleared of mines and any possible Islamic State sleeper cells, said SDF spokesman Talal Selo.
After breaking free from the ISIS in Syria’s Raqqa city, one of the rescued woman expressed her happiness by ripping off her black robes and thanking the soldiers.
“There have been no incidents involving the capture or losses among military servicemen of Russia’s armed forces in the province of Deir al-Zor or in other areas in Syria,” Interfax cited a defence ministry official as saying.
“The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,” the group’s news agency Amaq said in reference to the US-led coalition fighting the group in the Middle East.
The two suspects taken into custody this month “support the Islamic State terrorist group’s murderous ideology and the terrorist attack was meant to be carried out in expression of this”, the Shin Bet said in its statement.
A pro-Damascus military alliance launched attacks on Saturday from the southern corner of Deir al-Zor province to drive Islamic State from the Iraqi border. Islamic State is also coming under attack by U.S.-backed Iraqi government forces just over the border.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Twitter on Tuesday that Father Tom Uzhunnalil who had been taken hostage by ISIS forces in Yemen had been rescued after 17 months of captivity. Father Tom belongs to Kerala’s Kottayam district.
The Syrian army this week broke through Islamic State lines to reach a government-held enclave of Deir al-Zor besieged for years by the jihadists, and is fighting to reach a nearby air base which Islamic State still surrounds.
Rapidly losing territory in both Syria and Iraq, Islamic State is falling back on the Euphrates towns downstream of Deir al-Zor, including al-Mayadin and al-Bukamal, where many expect it to make a last stand.
The Russian defence ministry said the strike, which was carried out by the frigate “Admiral Essen,” hit Islamic State targets near the town of Al-Shula, which were controlled by fighters from Russia and other post-Soviet nations.
Tal Afar and the surrounding area is among the last pockets of IS-held territory in Iraq after victory was declared in Mosul, the country’s second-largest city. Tal Afaris west of Mosul and about 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of the Syrian border.