300-400 IS Jihadists Left in Syria's Raqa
Between 300 and 400 Islamic State group jihadists remain in their one-time Syrian bastion of Raqa where a Kurdish-Arab force is fighting to seize full control, its U.S.-led coalition backer said Thursday.
"We are looking at approximately 4,000 civilians who remain in Raqa, and a matter of 3-400 remaining ISIS (IS) fighters," coalition spokesman U.S. Colonel Ryan S. Dillon told a news conference in Baghdad.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, have taken control of around 90 percent of the city from IS since they broke into it in June.
Officials from Raqa Civil Council -- a provisional administration set up by the SDF -- are trying to negotiate the safe passage of civilians from remaining IS-held areas.
"We have seen a trend of ISIS surrendering over these last months, about four to five per week ... including emirs and leaders," said Dillon, adding that others were captured to blend in with departing civilians.