Victory Over ISIS: US-Backed Forces Drive Islamic State from HQ in Raqqa, Syria


A US-backed Syrian force has declared victory over the Islamic State group in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Raqqa was ISIS headquarters for its Islamic caliphate.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces say their military victory means the ISIS extremists have been defeated and driven from the city.

The Kurdish fighters handed the city over to local officials and tribal leaders at a press conference held inside the city Friday.

The fall of Raqqa marks a major defeat for the Islamic State.

The group has seen its territories steadily shrink since last year.

Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, said the loss of Raqqa deprives the militants of a major hub for recruitment and planning.

ISIS had used the city to attract hundreds of foreign fighters and was a place where attacks in the Middle East and Europe were planned.

Dillon points out the terrorists remain active in southern Syria.

"This has been the wellspring of (ISIS) as we know it," he said. But he stressed that the military defeat of the militants "doesn't mean the end of (ISIS) and their ideology."


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