International coalition: 300 ISIS fighters might have fled from Raqqa

Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces inspect the bunker of the ISIS militants under the stadium in Raqqa, Syria October 18, 2017. (Reuters)

The International Coalition stated, after a month since Syria's democratic forces restored Raqqa, that dozens of foreign fighters could have been hiding among civilians and might have managed to escape elsewhere during the evacuation of 3,000 civilians from the city.

Col. Ryan Dillon, the spokesman for the coalition forces, said there were about 300 militants who had been identified as potential fighters but not all those fighters who fled Raqqa were identified.

The local council of Raqqa and the "Syrian-democratic" forces reached an agreement regarding the exit of civilians from the city. During the exit, all civilians were subjected to inspection and examination, during which the Syrian Democratic Forces identified four foreign militants who had been arrested, and about 300 others who were classified as "potential fighters of ISIS."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has repeatedly stated that hundreds of ISIS fighters, including foreigners, left Raqqa with their weapons and ammunition in a large convoy on 12 October.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of seeking to change the regime in Syria by "supporting terrorists and foreign fighters and providing a cover for ISIS fighters," Moscow said.

Turkey, however, expressed its shock at Washington's position on the agreement signed by the Syrian Democratic Forces with ISIS organization, which stated that all ISIS organization fighters must depart from Raqqa.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:01 - GMT 11:01
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