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Tillerson: Freeing Syria's Raqqa is a 'Milestone'

October 20, 2017 11:16 AM

BEIRUT (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has congratulated the Syrian people and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on the liberation of the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State group.
    
In a statement released on Friday, Tillerson says the United States is proud to lead the 73-member global coalition in the fight against IS.
    
He says the coalition efforts has seen Islamic State's "so-called caliphate crumble across Iraq and Syria" but cautions that "our work is far from over."
    
Tillerson says the "liberation of Raqqa is a critical milestone in the global fight ... to defeat these terrorists."
    
He says the fall of the city that was IS' de facto capital also "marks the beginning of a new phase in the Syrian conflict" in which the United States and its partners will seek to "de-escalate violence across Syria."
    
He says: "We are confident that we will prevail and defeat this brutal terrorist organization."
 

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(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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