The Latest: Syrian Kurdish commander says Raqqa freed of IS

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria as Islamic State militants make their last stand in the city of Raqqa (all times local): 2 p.m. A commander with the U.S.-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State group says the city of Raqqa has been liberated from Islamic State militants and that combing operations are underway to clear the city of land mines and extremist sleeper cells. Brig. Gen. Talal Sillo told The Associated Press on Tuesday that there are no longer clashes going on in the city. Sillo says a formal declaration will follow befitting “the fall of the capital of terrorism.” Dozens of militants who refused to surrender had made their last stand in the city’s stadium, which had become notorious as a prison and dungeons for the group. It wasn’t immediately clear if the IS militants are still holed up inside the stadium. The city of Raqqa fell to the Islamic State group in 2014 and became the de facto capital of their self-styled caliphate.

In this picture taken on Monday Oct. 16, 2017 and provided by The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, stand on destroyed street where they battle against the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. The U.S-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria say Raqqa’s national hospital, one of the militants’ last holdouts in city has been captured. (Syrian Democratic Forces via AP)

In this picture taken on Monday Oct. 16, 2017 and provided by The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, take their position on a destroyed building during their battle against the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. The U.S-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria say Raqqa’s national hospital, one of the militants’ last holdouts in city has been captured. (Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP)

In this picture taken on Monday Oct. 16, 2017 and provided by The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter, waves his Kurdish party flag at the front line where they battle against the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. The U.S-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria say Raqqa’s national hospital, one of the militants’ last holdouts in city has been captured.(Syrian Democratic Forces via AP)

In this picture taken on Monday Oct. 16, 2017 and provided by The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, flash victory signs at the front line where they battle against the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. The U.S-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria say Raqqa’s national hospital, one of the militants’ last holdouts in city has been captured. (Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP)

In this picture taken on Monday Oct. 16, 2017 and provided by The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, sit on their pickup as they prepare for the last battle against the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. The U.S-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria say Raqqa’s national hospital, one of the militants’ last holdouts in city has been captured. (Syrian Democratic Forces via AP)

Some 275 militants and their family members surrendered

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria as Islamic State militants make their last stand in the city of Raqqa (all times local):

2 p.m.

A commander with the U.S.-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State group says the city of Raqqa has been liberated from Islamic State militants and that combing operations are underway to clear the city of land mines and extremist sleeper cells.

Brig. Gen. Talal Sillo told The Associated Press on Tuesday that there are no longer clashes going on in the city.

Sillo says a formal declaration will follow befitting “the fall of the capital of terrorism.”

Dozens of militants who refused to surrender had made their last stand in the city’s stadium, which had become notorious as a prison and dungeons for the group.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the IS militants are still holed up inside the stadium.

The city of Raqqa fell to the Islamic State group in 2014 and became the de facto capital of their self-styled caliphate.

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11:20 a.m.

The U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria say they have captured the city hospital in Raqqa, which served as an IS headquarters.

The facility was one of the militants’ last holdouts in Raqqa and had doubled as a hospital and an IS command center.

The capture of the hospital on Tuesday leaves IS militants cornered in and around the notorious municipal stadium in Raqqa, once the group’s de facto capital.

Musafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, says 22 IS militants were killed in the advance on the hospital. He says fighting is still underway with militants who had refused to surrender.

Raqqa’s stadium also served as an arms depot and one of the Islamic State militants’ largest jails in their self-styled caliphate.