Islamic State to fight ’till the end’ in Raqqa — Int. coalition

Reuters

FILE - In this undated file photo posted on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a militant extremist group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters of the Islamic State wave the group's flag from a damaged display of a government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria. The Islamic State group may be sprouting tentacles across the region but it is struggling in Syria, part of its heartland, where it has stalled or even lost ground in fighting with multiple enemies on multiple fronts. There are signs of tensions and powers struggles emerging among its ranks of foreign jihadis. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, File) isis
Islamic State fighters in the Syrian city of Raqqa are expected to fight to the death, but some local militants have surrendered recently as US-backed forces close in on their last strongholds, a US coalition spokesman said on Wednesday.

Colonel Ryan Dillon said officials in the Raqqa Civil Council, which is to govern the city after IS has been driven out, were working to negotiate the safe passage of thousands of civilians being held hostage.

But the coalition would not support any negotiated withdrawal of fighters, he said.

“The coalition would not be party to a negotiated settlement. (But) we’re jumping ahead of anything that’s being discussed right now … as (the council) try to get civilians out,” he told Reuters by phone.