After months of siege and losing ground to the Kurdish YPG and US-backed SDF, the city of Raqqa is set to be liberated. Recent negotiations have led to what appears to be an ISIS surrender. This would be a damning defeat for the Islamic terrorist group. Raqqa was the location from which the Islamic State planned much of its terror activities including attacks in France. It’s unclear how much fighting will continue in the city, but one thing is certain: civilians will most certainly benefit with this chance to reach safety.
The agreement allows ISIS fighter who surrendered to be transported to their controlled lands. A clear distinction in the agreement is that foreigners who flocked to join the Islamic State are given a different courtesy. These fighters will not be allowed to simply be transported and if they surrender will likely face punishment for their crimes. Their only other alternative is death.
Fighting Not Over Yet
Despite the surrender, the fighting isn’t over yet. Not every terrorist is on board with the deal. For obvious reasons, foreign fighters have announced their opposition.
— Raqqa24 (@24Raqqa) October 14, 2017
With the foreign fighters remain, heavy fighting will continue in the few isolated pockets of Raqqa. However, fewer civilians will be in the thick of things.
We are the elders of the tribes of Raqqa declare that we are in order to end the bloodshed and to put an end to the tragedy of our people who are stranded inside the city and after they were stopped by the terrorists and the hypocrites and there was only a few trapped in one or more points within the city, they have nothing but surrender or option the death. We appealed to Syrian Democratic Forces to settle the remaining situation inside the city from the local fighters and ensure their exit into areas outside the city with our assurances, and the Syrian Democratic Forces agreed on the content of this appeal.
We are now organizing a mechanism to remove these deceived and deceptive people in order to preserve the lives of civilians who have taken them as human shields and to protect the rest of the city from destruction and destruction.
Therefore, we declare to the public that we, as elders of the Al-Raqqa clans, will ensure the lives of those who will be removed.
We hope that we will move to other areas with steps to ensure security and peace in our country and to be cleansed of the abomination of terrorism and injustice and to live like others in our heroic city, who fought terrorism on behalf of the world.
We reiterate our thanks to the Syrian Democratic Forces who reacted positively to our call, understanding the nature of our tribal society and demonstrating their keenness on the lives of defenseless civilians.
Syria has lived a free and pluralistic democracy
Death to terrorism and victory for our peoples
The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State said a convoy was due to leave Raqqa on Saturday, in an arrangement agreed by local parties. It described the arrangement as “a civilian evacuation” and said it would not condone any arrangement that allowed “terrorists to escape Raqqa without facing justice”.
Coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said the coalition’s stance was that IS fighters must surrender unconditionally, but added that he could not comment on who would be in the convoy. He said difficult fighting was expected in the days ahead.
The coalition statement said the arrangement brokered by the Raqqa Civil Council and local Arab tribal elders on Oct. 12 was “designed to minimize civilian casualties and purportedly excludes foreign Daesh terrorists”.
After getting beaten with a stick, an olive branch was extended to the terrorists. Normally, I would exercise vehement opposition to negotiating with terrorists, but in this arrangement, they gain nothing but a little more time to live their pathetic lives to fight in their doomed cause. The people of Raqqa, on the other hand, gain the chance to distance themselves from the fighting. Raqqa was inevitably going to fall as ISIS is nowhere close to breaking the siege. ISIS fighters are outmanned and outgunned. Negotiating with ISIS might strike against our core principles; however, this negotiation was conducted from a position of strength so well established that diplomacy became a very effective tool in this war. This in no way is at all comparable to Obama negotiating with the Taliban for the release of Bowe Bergdahl.
The demise of ISIS in Syria is nothing new, so we can’t really rest easier. While ISIS decays in the Middle East, they are growing in Asia and are still strong in Africa. Hopefully, we can prevent another headquarters for Islamic terrorists to plot attacks internationally from ever coming to fruition. Hopefully, both Trump and his predecessors improve from Obama’s terrible lack of judgment. But for now, a win’s a win.
Promo for Mike Lindell's New Daily Show
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