Trump says end of ISIS caliphate 'in sight' after Raqqa liberation

ANI | Updated: Oct 22, 2017 02:27 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Oct 22 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump has said that the "end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight" following the liberation of Syrian city of Raqqa from the terror group.

Trump lauded the defeat of Islamic State (ISIS) in Raqqa as "a critical breakthrough" and said that the US will support a diplomatic negotiation which ends the violence in war-torn Syria.

"I am pleased to announce that the Syrian Democratic Forces, our partners in the fight against ISIS in Syria, have successfully recaptured Raqqah - the terrorist group's self-proclaimed capital city. Together, our forces have liberated the entire city from ISIS control. The defeat of ISIS in Raqqah represents a critical breakthrough in our worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS and its wicked ideology. With the liberation of ISIS's capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight," Trump said in a statement.

However, Trump used an alternate spelling of the city in his statement.

The Syrian Democratic Forces with the support from the US- backed coalition had recently declared the "total liberation" of the Syrian city of Raqqa, which for more than three years was the de facto capital of ISIS.

According to CNN, speaking at a ceremony held to celebrate the capture of Raqqa, Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Talal Silo claimed a "historic victory" over ISIS and said the extremist group had suffered a "brutal" defeat.

"We will soon transition into a new phase in which we will support local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace, so that the terrorists cannot return to threaten our collective security again," Trump said.

"Together, with our allies and partners, we will support diplomatic negotiations that end the violence, allow refugees to return safely home, and yield a political transition that honors the will of the Syrian people," he added.

Trump said he had issued orders to give US commanders and troops on the ground the full authorities to achieve the mission to defeat ISIS and to counter the spread of its hateful ideology.

"One of my core campaign promises to the American people was to defeat ISIS and to counter the spread of hateful ideology.

That is why, in the first days of my Administration, I issued orders to give our commanders and troops on the ground the full authorities to achieve this mission. As a result, ISIS strongholds in Mosul and Raqqah have fallen," he said.

Trump also praised all the coalition partners for their sacrifices in the fight against the ISIS.

"Therefore, as we recognize this military accomplishment, we also pause to honor our service men and women and all they have given to protect us and all civilized people from these modern day barbarians. Today, we reaffirm that ISIS leaders, and anyone who supports them, must and will face justice," he said. (ANI)