US coalition: IS pockets remain in Syria’s Raqqa

BEIRUT (AP) — The spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition says pockets of Islamic State militants remain in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

The remarks come as U.S.-backed Syrian forces and their allies on the ground are going through the city’s newly liberated areas, searching for land mines and sleeper cells.

Col. Ryan Dillon said on Tuesday that the Syrian Democratic Forces have seized the last strongholds of the militant group in Raqqa but are not done securing them.

He says the coalition has not carried out any airstrikes in the city for three days to allow for the evacuation of civilians and for militants to surrender.

Dillon says: “We have not received official reporting to say Raqqa is cleared.”

He says that with the fall of Raqqa, the militants will be denied their “wellspring” that provided planning and support for terror operations in Syria and Iraq and around the world.