Trump announces 'new phase' in Syria after Raqqa recapture

Trump announces 'new phase' in Syria after Raqqa recapture
2 min read
21 October, 2017
Trump has announced a new phase in US engagement in Syria, saying the war against IS is coming to a close and called for political transition.
US President Donald Trump has announced a new phase in the Syria operation [Getty]
US President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria has been captured by US-backed forces and said Washington is ready to engage in a new phase of operations in the country.

"I am pleased to announce that the Syrian Democratic Forces, our partners in the fight against IS in Syria, have successfully recaptured Raqqa - the terrorist [IS] group's self-proclaimed capital city. Together, our forces have liberated the entire city from IS control," he said in a statement.

"The defeat of IS in Raqqa represents a critical breakthrough in our worldwide campaign to defeat IS and its wicked ideology. With the liberation of IS' capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the IS caliphate is in sight."

He said to near defeat of IS means Washington is ready to engage in a new chapter in engagement in Syria. This appears to follow the Turkish-Iranian-Russian peace plan, which has divided Syria into disengagement areas.

The US and its allies will support diplomatic negotiations "that end the violence, allow refugees to return safely home, and yield a political transition that honours the will of the Syrian people", he said in a statement.

"We will soon transition into a new phase in which we will support local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace, so that the terrorists cannot return to threaten our collective security again," he said.

Agencies contributed to this story.
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.