|Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters ride atop military vehicles as they celebrate victory in Raqqa, Syria, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
On Friday, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) formally announced Raqqa’s liberation from Islamic State after four months of battles and said the city would be part of a decentralized federal Syria.
“Together, our forces have liberated the entire city from ISIS control,” Trump said in a statement.
“The defeat of ISIS in Raqqa represents a critical breakthrough in our worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS and its wicked ideology. With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.”
Trump said the U.S. campaign against Islamic State, which was launched by his predecessor Barack Obama, would soon enter a new phase, in which the United States would “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.”
“Together, with our allies and partners, we will support diplomatic negotiations that end the violence, allow refugees to return safely home, and yield a political transition that honors the will of the Syrian people,” he said.
Trump’s statement made no mention of the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He also did not spell out how the United States would support local security forces.Reuters