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Fighters in Syria's Raqa prepare for civilian handover

Ak - US-backed forces who captured Raqa from the Islamic State group prepared Thursday to hand the Syrian city over to a civilian authority, with some of their fighters already headed to the next battle.

After IS, rotting corpses and empty jail cells in Syria's Raqa

Ak - Days ago in Syria's Raqa, die-hard jihadists made their final stand in the city's national hospital. On Wednesday, it stood eerily silent, its entrance inhabited only by swarming flies and two rotting corpses.

Forces comb ghost city Raqa after IS ouster

Ak - Two days after retaking Raqa from Islamic State group jihadists and dealing their dreams of statehood a fatal blow, US-backed forces combed the ruins of the Syrian city for survivors and bombs.

Fighters celebrate Raqa victory on 'Roundabout of Hell'

Ak - With his only hand, Hazem Kobane planted the yellow flag of the Syrian Democratic Forces on Tuesday in the notorious roundabout in Raqa where Islamic State group jihadists carried out gruesome beheadings.

Islamic State group loses emblematic Syria stronghold Raqa

Ak - US-backed forces took full control of Raqa from the Islamic State group on Tuesday, defeating the last jihadist holdouts in the de facto Syrian capital of their now-shattered "caliphate".

IS fighters stage last stand as Raqa capture nears

Ak - US-backed fighters battled hundreds of Islamic State group jihadists holed up in the last pockets of Syria's Raqa, as the former extremist stronghold stood on the verge of capture.

US-backed forces in toughest Raqa fighting yet: spokeswoman

Birut - The US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance fighting to wrest the Syrian city of Raqa from the Islamic State group was engaged Monday in its toughest fighting yet, a spokeswoman said.

To beat IS, Syria force goes backs to basics

Ak - Once the last Islamic State group fighters are ousted from Syria's Raqa, the unconventional forces battling the jihadists say they'll have batteries and masking tape to thank for their victory.

3,000 civilians flee Syria's Raqa under deal: militia spokesman

Birut - More than 3,000 civilians have fled the Islamic State group's former Syrian stronghold Raqa, leaving behind only relatives of foreign IS fighters, a US-backed militia attacking the city said Sunday.

'Final phase' of battle for Raqa as civilians flee under deal

Ak - US-backed forces announced Sunday the "final phase" of the battle to retake Syria's Raqa, after the city was evacuated except for foreign Islamic State group fighters and their families.

US-backed force announces 'final phase' of Raqa battle

Ak - The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Sunday announced the "final phase" of the battle to capture Raqa, once the Syrian stronghold of the Islamic State group.

Some IS foreign fighters have left Raqa under deal: local official

Ak - Some foreign Islamic State group fighters have left the one-time jihadist bastion of Raqa in Syria under a deal as the city's capture nears, a local official said Sunday.

Foreign, Syrian IS fighters to evacuate Raqa in deal: local official

Yildiz - Syrian and foreign Islamic State group fighters are to evacuate their one-time bastion Raqa as part of an agreement brokered by tribal leaders, a senior local official told AFP Saturday.

Evacuation deal for Syria's Raqa as city's capture nears

Yildiz - Foreign and Syrian jihadists from the Islamic State group are to evacuate their former stronghold of Raqa, as US-backed forces near the capture of the city, a senior official said Saturday.

100 IS fighters surrender in Raqa in 24 hours: US-led coalition

Yildiz - Dozens of Islamic State group fighters have surrendered over the past day in their one-time bastion Raqa, the US-led coalition backing the offensive on the Syrian city said Saturday.

Talks on Raqa civilian exit halted: city official

Yildiz - Talks on securing safe passage for civilians from the last Islamic State group-held neighbourhoods of Syria's Raqa have stopped, a city official close to the discussions told AFP on Friday.

Far from front line, volunteers prepare to rebuild Raqa

Ak - As US-backed forces fight to oust the Islamic State group from its last hideouts in Syria's Raqa, a city council-in-exile is already working to bring life back to its devastated home town.

With IS surrounded, talks held on civilian exit from Raqa

Yildiz - Talks for the safe exit of civilians trapped in Syria's Raqa were underway Wednesday, as US-backed forces prepare a final push to recapture the city from the Islamic State group.

Talks to let civilians leave IS-held Raqa: coalition

Yildiz - Local officials and Syrian tribal leaders are leading "discussions" to secure safe passage for civilians from parts of Raqa still held by the Islamic State group, the US-led coalition said Tuesday.

Fight to drive IS from Syria bastion Raqa nears end

Ak - US-backed fighters say they are nearing the "final week" of their assault to drive the Islamic State group from its one-time Syrian bastion Raqa, as the jihadists' self-described caliphate crumbles.

Anti-IS force says near 'final' week of Raqa fight

Ak - US-backed fighters battling to oust the Islamic State group from Syria's Raqa were nearing the "final week" of their assault, the campaign's commander told AFP on Sunday.

As Syria's Raqa battle nears end, road to rescue lengthens

Ak - "Don't close your eyes. Stay awake!" the anti-jihadist Syrian fighter yelled at his injured comrade as a Humvee whisked them across the Islamic State group's former stronghold Raqa.

Losing Syria bastion, IS lashes out behind front lines

Yildiz - Just after sunrise outside Syria's Raqa, dozens of Islamic State group jihadists donned Kurdish military uniforms, piled into cars with weapons, and broke back into a district they lost control of months ago.

Cornered in Raqa, IS breathing 'last gasps': coalition commander

- Ousting the last Islamic State group fighters from Raqa will be tough, but the jihadists are breathing their "last gasps" in their Syrian bastion, a senior US-led coalition commander told AFP.

After dreams of freedom, a bitter escape from Syria's Raqa

Ak - For years, Gharam Habbal and her elderly father had desperately dreamt of escaping the Islamic State group's hellish grip on Raqa. But when she finally fled, he wasn't with her.

Returning home, Syrians find Raqa battered beyond recognition

Ak - Bashar Hammoud thought he knew his native Raqa like the back of his hand, but a months-long offensive against the Islamic State group has scarred the Syrian city so badly he can barely recognise it.

US-backed fighters elated over front-row seats to Raqa fall

Ak - For three years, Syrian-Kurdish fighter Sevger Himo has been itching to witness the Islamic State group's demise. Now, in the heart of Raqa city, he has a front-row seat.

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa: HRW

Birut - US-led coalition strikes near the Islamic State group's Syrian stronghold Raqa in March killed at least 84 civilians, including dozens of children, Human Rights Watch alleged Monday.

Civilians trapped as IS mounts last stand in Syria's Raqa

Ak - Among the ruins of a street in Syria's Raqa, an anti-jihadist fighter's call echoes from a loudspeaker: "Civilians, we are waiting for you to leave to safety.

US-backed force clearing last IS fighters from Raqa: monitor

Birut - Syrian fighters backed by US special forces were on Thursday clearing the last remaining Islamic State group jihadists from their Syrian bastion Raqa, a monitor said.
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A fighter from the Syrian Military Council (SMC)  Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democrati...
A fighter from the Syrian Military Council (SMC), Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces against the Islamic State group, walks on the western outskirts of Raqa on June 27, 2017

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