US President Donald Trump said Saturday a transition can soon begin to set conditions for lasting peace in Syria now that the end of the ISIL “caliphate is in sight” with the fall of Raqa.
The United States and its allies will support diplomatic negotiations “that end the violence, allow refugees to return safely home, and yield a political transition that honors the will of the Syrian people,” Trump said in a statement.
The declaration came four days after US-backed Kurdish-led forces recaptured Raqa, the capital of ISIL’s self-proclaimed caliphate and its last major stronghold in Syria.
Trump said the entire city has been liberated from ISIL control, which he said marked a “critical breakthrough” in the global struggle against the terrorist group.
“With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight,” Trump said, using an alternate acronym for the Takfiri group.
“We will soon transition into a new phase in which we will support local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace, so that the terrorists cannot return to threaten our collective security again.”