World ISIS fighters holed up in Raqqa believed to have women, children to use as human shields

03:05  13 october  2017
03:05  13 october  2017 Source:   cbsnews.com

"We were prisoners": American teen forced into ISIS speaks

  The 15-year-old grew up in Kansas, and misses the comforts of home: "There's a restaurant called Texas Roadhouse, they have steak there," she saidOn the edge of Raqqa, Williams encountered a group of women who have just escaped ISIS territory. One of them revealed she's American.

But amongst the fighters are civilians being used as human shields . "They have women and children with them," commander Zaaem Ahmadi told CBS News. He used to be an electrician in Raqqa , and claims to have killed dozens of ISIS extremists.

But amongst the fighters are civilians being used as human shields . “They have women and children with them,” commander Zaaem Ahmadi told CBS News. He used to be an electrician in Raqqa , and claims to have killed dozens of ISIS extremists.

The ruins of Raqqa© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The ruins of Raqqa

RAQQA, Syria -- The heart of Raqqa is shattered, laid waste by three years of ISIS rule and a siege that's lasted four months.

On the front line, U.S.-backed Syrian militiamen decided to put on a show for the camera. ISIS gunmen are hiding in the ruins of a nearby apartment building, they said, but it looked more like boredom than real fighting. Progress here is grindingly slow.

They know exactly where ISIS is -- in a tiny sector of the city -- but they can't flush them out.

Around 250 fighters are thought to be dug in, some of them in a stadium, others around Naim Square, which ISIS once decorated with severed heads.

Syria: Local militants evacuate as Raqqa battle nears end

  Syria: Local militants evacuate as Raqqa battle nears end The U.S.-led coalition and local officials said Saturday Syrian Islamic State fighters and civilians will be allowed to evacuate the Syrian city.Foreign fighters will be excluded from the evacuation deal, the coalition said.

But amongst the fighters are civilians being used as human shields . "They have women and children with them," commander Zaaem Ahmadi told CBS News. He used to be an electrician in Raqqa , and claims to have killed dozens of ISIS extremists.

But amongst the fighters are civilians being used as human shields. "They have women and children with them," commander Zaaem Ahmadi told CBS News. He used to be an electrician in Raqqa, and claims to have killed dozens of ISIS extremists. He took us to see a long-dead corpse.

One of the many stray cats in Raqqa© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. One of the many stray cats in Raqqa

The only signs of life in most neighborhoods, apart from the fighters, are stray cats. They're struggling to survive, like everyone else in this beleaguered city.

U.S.-backed forces continue to say that they are just days away from victory in Raqqa, but they've already opened up a new front further to the south, where ISIS is being squeezed into a shrinking area in the desert. So the fighting will continue.

Trump celebrates IS defeat in Raqqa .
<p>President Donald Trump says the end of the Islamic State "is in sight" after the militant group was driven out of Raqqa, its self-declared capital in Syria.</p>Trump says in a statement that the recapture of Raqqa by the Syrian Democratic Forces is "a critical breakthrough in our worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS.

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