US-Backed Syrian Forces Evacuate Civilians from Raqqa; Larger Withdrawal Possible

StoryfulNewsPublished: October 11, 2017
Published: October 11, 2017

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces helped civilians to leave the city of Raqqa on October 10 and 11, while more civilians and Islamic State fighters are still under siege. In this video from a Kurdish news outlet, groups of women and children carrying bags can be seen getting into trucks surrounded by SDF-aligned Kurdish fighters. A car with broken windows, partially destroyed buildings, and rubble are visible in the background. Two injured men are also lifted into the trucks. In a video from October 10, a group of people, mostly women and children, get out of a truck and sit in front of a wall with “Syrian Democratic Forces” written in Arabic graffiti on it. The Kurdish news outlet said SDF forces took 150 civilians to safety. The evacuation of civilians is taking place as local news outlets said SDF and the Islamic State are trying to negotiate an exit for IS fighters and civilians still trapped in Raqqa. After more than four months of fighting, US sources say 4,000 civilians remain in the city, along with some 400 IS fighters. SDF now controls 85 percent of the city. Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition against Islamic State, said on October 10 that the Raqqa Civil Council was leading a discussion to “determine the best way to enable civilians trapped by Daesh [or Islamic State] to exit the city.” The prominent activist network Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS) said evacuation buses already arrived at al-Assadia town west of Raqqa. Storyful is seeking to confirm this. Credit: YouTube/ANHA via Storyful

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