WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon essentially confirmed a BBC report that 250 Daesh fighters and thousands of family members, along with weapons and other supplies, were disbursed throughout Syria in a series of convoys that were arranged by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in an attempt to reduce bloodshed in the final days of the battle for Raqqa.
"In the course of that screening there were four foreign fighters that were identified and detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces," Dillon said. "Out of the rest of the 3,500 civilians that came out of Raqqa at that time, approximately less than 300 were identified and screened as potential ISIS [Daesh] fighters."
With remaining Daesh fighters evacuated, the US-led coalition announced in October that the terror group’s self-declared capital of Raqqa had been liberated.
Later that month, the Syrian news agency SANA reported, citing an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry, that the Syrian government would consider Raqqa an occupied city until it comes under the control of the Syrian army.