Approximately 85 percent of Raqqa is now liberated from ISIS as some 100 militants turned themselves in to the US-backed, majority Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
“[Fifty] woman and children received by SDF yesterday [Thursday] in Raqqa – 1,500 civilians to safety in past week. 85% of city in SDF control,” Colonel Ryan Dillon, Spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve and the US-led coalition against ISIS tweeted on Friday.
Omar Alloush of the Raqqa Civilian Council told The Associated Press on Friday that roughly 100 ISIS militants had surrendered to the SDF, but did not provide details on how it occurred.
He also confirmed that fighting is still ongoing in some parts of the city, which was once the de facto capital of ISIS in Syria.
“There are still fighters but the area they control is getting smaller,” said Mohammed Khedher of Sound and Picture Organization, which tracks atrocities by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
ISIS still controls Raqqa’s main stadium, which sources believe is being used as a prison by the militants. They also retain control of the National Hospital and a small part of the northern area of the city.
The US-led coalition reported that ISIS militants are using civilians as human shields as the fight to retake the city enters its final stages, however they are making efforts to ensure safe evacuation of approximately 4,000 civilians who remain trapped in the city.