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President Donald Trump celebrates IS defeat in Raqqa

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Posted at 12:01 PM, Oct 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-21 15:01:04-04

STERLING, Va. (AP) -- 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.

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."

RELATED: ISIS routed in Raqqa as 'major military operations' declared over

He says it'll soon be time to transition to a new phase in which the U.S. will continue to support local security forces and "advance the conditions for a lasting peace."

Trump says the U.S. will back diplomatic negotiations that end the violence in Syria, allow refugees to return safely home and "yield a political transition that honors the will of the Syrian people."

There are no signs, however, that political transition will occur any time soon.