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Raqqa City Liberated From ISIS By US-Backed Forces

World | Associated Press | October 17, 2017, 7:57 pm
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 A US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters said on Tuesday it has taken full control of the Islamic State terror organisation's one-time

A US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters said on Tuesday it has taken full control of the Islamic State terror organisation's one-time "capital" of Raqqa. (Image: AP)

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 Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Sello said the fighting was over after a five-month assault. Clearing operations were now underway to uncover any jihadist sleeper cells and remove landmines, the BBC reported. (Image: AP)

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Sello said the fighting was over after a five-month assault. Clearing operations were now underway to uncover any jihadist sleeper cells and remove landmines, the BBC reported. (Image: AP)

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"The city of Raqqa has been liberated and the military operations have ended, but we are mopping up the city in search of sleeper cells if (they) existed," he said. (Image: AP)

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 The victory marks the first major defeat to IS in Syria as Raqqa is the de facto capital of the terror-designated group. (Image: AP)

The victory marks the first major defeat to IS in Syria as Raqqa is the de facto capital of the terror-designated group. (Image: AP)

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 An official statement declaring victory in the city and the end of three years of IS rule was expected to be made soon. (Image: AP)

An official statement declaring victory in the city and the end of three years of IS rule was expected to be made soon. (Image: AP)

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 This file frame grab provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who have surrendered, at a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

This file frame grab provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who have surrendered, at a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 Earlier on Tuesday(October 17), the SDF cleared the last two major IS positions in Raqqa -- the municipal stadium and the National Hospital. (Image: AP)

Earlier on Tuesday(October 17), the SDF cleared the last two major IS positions in Raqqa -- the municipal stadium and the National Hospital. (Image: AP)

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 This frame grab from a video provided by Turkey-based Kurdish Mezopotamya agency, shows a Syrian woman crying after she fled the areas which were controlled by the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

This frame grab from a video provided by Turkey-based Kurdish Mezopotamya agency, shows a Syrian woman crying after she fled the areas which were controlled by the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 Dozens of foreign militants were believed to have made their last stand in the stadium while 22 were reportedly killed in the final attack on the hospital. (Image: AP)

Dozens of foreign militants were believed to have made their last stand in the stadium while 22 were reportedly killed in the final attack on the hospital. (Image: AP)

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 Syrian civilians flee from the areas which were controlled by the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

Syrian civilians flee from the areas which were controlled by the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 Up to 300 militants were thought to be holding out on Sunday (October 15) after Syrian jihadists and their families were evacuated under a deal negotiated by tribal elders. (Image: AP)

Up to 300 militants were thought to be holding out on Sunday (October 15) after Syrian jihadists and their families were evacuated under a deal negotiated by tribal elders. (Image: AP)

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 A Kurdish man mourns as he sits next to the grave of his friend who was killed during the fight against Islamic State militants in Raqqa. (Image: AP)

A Kurdish man mourns as he sits next to the grave of his friend who was killed during the fight against Islamic State militants in Raqqa. (Image: AP)

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 In this picture provided by Hawar News Agency, shows the building of Raqqa's national hospital where the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters fought against Islamic State group fighters in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

In this picture provided by Hawar News Agency, shows the building of Raqqa's national hospital where the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters fought against Islamic State group fighters in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 This frame grab from a video provided on Friday (October 13) by Turkey-based Kurdish Mezopotamya agency media, shows Syrian civilians run on a damaged street as they fleeing from the areas that still controlled by the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

This frame grab from a video provided on Friday (October 13) by Turkey-based Kurdish Mezopotamya agency media, shows Syrian civilians run on a damaged street as they fleeing from the areas that still controlled by the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 IS seized Raqqa in early 2014, months after it became the first Syrian provincial capital to fall to the rebels in the civil war, and made it the headquarters of its self-styled

IS seized Raqqa in early 2014, months after it became the first Syrian provincial capital to fall to the rebels in the civil war, and made it the headquarters of its self-styled "caliphate". (Image: AP)

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 An injured Syrian woman cries in pain, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

An injured Syrian woman cries in pain, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 Raqqa was transformed by the group, which implemented an extreme interpretation of Islamic law and used beheadings, crucifixions and torture to terrorise residents who opposed its rule. (Image: AP)

Raqqa was transformed by the group, which implemented an extreme interpretation of Islamic law and used beheadings, crucifixions and torture to terrorise residents who opposed its rule. (Image: AP)

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 This file frame grab provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who have surrendered, at a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

This file frame grab provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who have surrendered, at a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 This frame grab from a video provided on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 by Turkey-based Kurdish Mezopotamya agency media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows Syrian civilians who fled from the areas that still controlled by the Islamic State militants, as they gather at point of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

This frame grab from a video provided on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 by Turkey-based Kurdish Mezopotamya agency media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows Syrian civilians who fled from the areas that still controlled by the Islamic State militants, as they gather at point of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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 This frame grab from a video released Sunday (October 15) and provided by Furat FM, shows a Syrian Islamic State group fighter who surrendered entering a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

This frame grab from a video released Sunday (October 15) and provided by Furat FM, shows a Syrian Islamic State group fighter who surrendered entering a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. (Image: AP)

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