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US-backed Fighters Begin Final Attack in Syria's Raqqa

Syrians flee from ISIS-controlled areas in Raqqa, Syria, on Oct. 13. (Mezopotamya Agency via AP)
Syrians flee from ISIS-controlled areas in Raqqa, Syria, on Oct. 13. (Mezopotamya Agency via AP)

BEIRUT -- U.S.-backed Syrian fighters say they have launched an operation to retake the last Islamic State-held pocket in Raqqa, Syria after some 275 militants and their family members surrendered.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said the operation that began Sunday will continue "until all the city is cleansed from terrorists who refused to surrender."

The attack comes a day after the U.S.-led coalition and local officials said Syrian IS fighters and civilians would be allowed to leave Raqqa, once the capital of the extremist group's self-styled caliphate. The coalition said foreign fighters would not be allowed to take part in the evacuation.

The SDF has been on the offensive in Raqqa since early June and now controls most of the city.

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