Staffan de Mistura says country will face ‘moment of truth’ after Islamic State defeat, with possibility of elections within a year

Raqqa, the last Islamic State stronghold in Syria, will fall by the end of October, allowing credible democratic elections to be held within a year, according to the UN special envoy for the country.

Setting out a highly optimistic scenario for the end of the civil war, Staffan de Mistura said the country would face a “moment of truth” after the reclaiming of Raqqa. He urged President Bashar al-Assad to recognise he must make a political gesture if he didn’t wish to see a version of Isis return under a new name within months.

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