Turkey warns of potential ‘escape’ of Raqqa extremists

Turkey on Wednesday condemned as “an extremely grave revelation” the potential escape of hundreds of extremists from the Syrian city of Raqqa. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said over 3,000 civilians had left Raqqa on October 14 as part of a deal negotiated between officials from the provisional Raqqa Civil Council and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters, AFP reported. The US-led coalition later acknowledged that of these up to 300 were seen as ‘potential’ IS fighters. Ankara has long criticized Washington for working with and arming the Kurdish YPG as the main US ally in the fight against IS.