Men who were once feared fighters of the so-called Islamic State are now throwing down their weapons in Raqqa. Some of them hobble to meetings with tribal elders in Raqqa because of their wounds to negotiate their surrender. Some 275 men and their families surrendered this weekend.
Kurdish-led and US-backed fighters say they expect to be in control of the city after launching an assault on the final pocket of ISIL diehards.
They estimate a few days’ operation will be enough to clear the militants out, and Russian state TV pictures show that cannot come soon enough as damage in the Syrian city, ISIL’s last major urban strongpoint in the country, is extensive.
Those who surrendered were taken to a Syrian Democratic Forces-run prison in the nearby town of Tabqa, where they faced interrogation before being put on trial.