20:19 GMT +310 December 2018
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    France Pledges 15 Mln Euros of Aid to Areas Freed From Daesh in Syria

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    The funds are expected to be allocated to help Syrians, including those in the city of Raqqa that was cleared from extremists earlier on Friday.

    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that some additional assistance worth 15 million euros will be sent to Syria by the year-end. It is planned to be spent on food, de-mining, displaced people, water, and health.

    "France also hopes that the governance of these territories will meet the needs and aspirations of the populations and facilitate reconciliation," he said.

    The news comes as the US-led coalition announced earlier in the day that Raqqa, which was once considered by Daesh as its self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria, was liberated by Washington-supported Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces.

    READ MORE: Syrian Kurds 'Don't Want Partition of Syria, Do Not Seek Kurdistan's Autonomy'

    Le Drian has praised the liberation of the city as a "great success," saying it marks the beginning of the "post-Daesh era." He mentioned that "the orders to attack France, in particular, the attack on the [Parisian] Bataclan Theater," were given out in Raqqa and that Paris sought to "make Raqqa as much of a target as [Iraq's] Mosul."

    The operation to free the city has been ongoing since June 6. On September 21, the terrorists were blocked in the city center but were resisting fiercely. A few weeks after that the Syrian forces cleared the extremists from Al-Watani Hospital, their last refuge in the city, and the city stadium.

    Raqqa was captured by Daesh in 2013 and from that time was one of the major terrorist strongholds in the Middle East.


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