On November 8, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that it released 86 former ISIS fighters who were captured or surrendered during the battle for Raqqa. The SDF said that the former ISIS fighters who were released went through a strict investigation and stressed that none of them committed crimes during their service with ISIS.
The SDF added that the decision to release these men was taken upon a request from the Raqqa Civil Council and local tribe leaders from Raqqa. According to the SDF, the released ISIS fighters “promised not to go back to the wrong way”.
It’s not the first time the SDF releases former ISIS fighters. On August 13, the SDF released 75 Syrian ISIS fighters who were captured during the battle for Raqqa. The SDF itself confirmed on November 8 that several patches of ISIS fighters were released by it over the last few months.
According to experts, the SDF decision to release those former ISIS fighter pose a serious security threat not only to the Syrian government and opposition areas but also to the SDF-held areas, and the US troops deployed in it.
Meanwhile, the SDF and the Raqqa Civil Council announced that they have sent 14 truck, 14 bulldozer and 4 water tankers to Raqqa city to clean it up. Al-Mushalib district in the eastern part of Raqqa city will be cleaned first, according to Kurdish sources.
Back on November 6, the SDF allowed the civilians to go back to their houses in al-Mushalib district. However, so far civilians are still not allowed to return to any another part of the city, because the SDF claims its full of IEDs and mines left behind by ISIS.