November 20, 2017

US-backed Forces Deny They Allowed IS Fighters to Evacuate Raqqa

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Voice of America

Journalist Nisan Ahmado

Officials of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are dismissing claims they brokered a covert deal with the Islamic State last month to allow safe passage to hundreds of besieged IS fighters evacuating from Raqqa, the de facto capital of the so-called Islamic State in northern Syria.

The BBC on Sunday reported it had uncovered details of a pact between the SDF and IS, with the blessing of the U.S.-led coalition, to allow hundreds of suspected IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa.

The report claimed the deal enabled about 4,000 people, including hundreds of IS foreign and local fighters, to be evacuated by a fleet of trucks toward the border region in eastern Syria, and they then fanned out across the country and into parts of Turkey.

Read the full article here.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...