Dozens of militants from the so-called Islamic State were pardoned in Raqqa on Saturday, a move described as a goodwill gesture by the civil council that made the decision. The amnesty, which coincides with the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan, saw 83 ISIS prisoners transported to the Raqqa City Council, where they were told they'd have a chance to rejoin society. Members of the council handed out sweets and read a speech as the militants—some of them teenagers—stepped out of buses to be reunited with their families. “We would never release senior Daesh officials or anyone who has blood on their hands. We are giving these men a second chance,” Omar Aloush, a senior council member, told Reuters. The council, which is expected to rule Raqqa once ISIS is driven out, says the pardon will promote stability after years of war.
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