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Defector says thousands of Islamic State fighters left Raqqa in secret deal

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+ctebah    2,958
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A high-level defector from Kurdish-led forces that captured the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State has recanted his account of the city’s fall, saying thousands of IS fighters - many more than first reported - left under a secret, U.S.-approved deal.

Talal Silo, a former commander in the Syrian Democratic Forces, said the SDF arranged to bus all remaining Islamic State militants out of Raqqa even though it said at the time it was battling diehard foreign jihadists in the city.

U.S. officials described Silo’s comments as “false and contrived” but a security official in Turkey, where Silo defected three weeks ago, gave a similar account of Islamic State’s defeat in its Syrian stronghold. Turkey has been at odds with Washington over U.S. backing for the Kurdish forces who led the fight for Raqqa.

Silo was the SDF spokesman and one of the officials who told the media in mid-October - when the deal was reached - that fewer than 300 fighters left Raqqa with their families while others would fight on.

However, he told Reuters in an interview that the number of fighters who were allowed to go was far higher and the account of a last-ditch battle was a fiction designed to keep journalists away while the evacuation took place.

He said a U.S. official in the international coalition against Islamic State, whom he did not identify, approved the deal at a meeting with an SDF commander.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-defector/defector-says-thousands-of-islamic-state-fighters-left-raqqa-in-secret-deal-idUSKBN1E12AP

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techbeck    5,262

http://taskandpurpose.com/raqqa-isis-fighters-secret-deal/

 

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Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, explained to the BBC why the U.S. knowingly accepted the deal.

“We didn’t want anyone to leave,” Dillon said. “But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations.”

 

Old news.  I think this was discussed here before as I remember putting in the quote above before.

 

Edit:  Yup, was already discussed here....

 

Edited by techbeck

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+ctebah    2,958
9 minutes ago, techbeck said:

“We didn’t want anyone to leave,” Dillon said. “But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations.”

 

16 minutes ago, ctebah said:

U.S. officials described Silo’s comments as “false and contrived” 

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

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