‘US officials are split over the future of Raqqa, Syria, with some claiming all international forces will leave the city once it is freed from terrorists, and others announcing plans to stay to ‘govern’ it along with Turkey.

‘As Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, backed by US advisers and coalition airstrikes, slowly advance on the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa, US officials have been voicing their opinions on what will happen to Raqqa once it is liberated. The US State Department says that after the terrorists are defeated, all foreign forces will leave the city to let the Syrians run it.

“How the liberation takes place, how we get local governance re-established after the liberation: our expectation, as has been elsewhere, is that outside forces would then withdraw,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a daily press briefing on Monday. He then clarified that US forces will supervise the re-establishment of local authority in the city, but other than that will not intervene in its governance.’

Read more: Raqqa rift: State Department says United States leaves once ISIS ousted, US military plan to hold & govern city with Turkey