BEIRUT – The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):
The Syrian foreign minister is accusing the U.S.-led coalition of wreaking destruction in Syria while sparing the Islamic State group.
Walid al-Moallem said during a visit to Russia on Wednesday that the U.S.-led coalition has been "methodically destroying all except the IS." He claimed that Washington aims to destroy Syria's economy and drag the war out.
Al-Moallem said the Kurds are now vying for control of oilfields in eastern Syria and warned that Syria will reassert its sovereignty over the area. The Syrian army under Russian air cover has raced for control of oilfields in the eastern Deir el-Zour province.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the start of his talks with al-Moallem in Sochi that he would like to focus on a political settlement in Syria.
A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group says an estimated 4,000 civilians are still trapped in the Syrian city of Raqqa, once the extremists' de facto capital, and that coalition allies are working out ways to evacuate them.
Col. Ryan Dillon says the Raqqa Civil Council, a local administration of Arab and Kurdish officials, is leading the discussions. It's not clear with whom the council is speaking inside Raqqa.
Dillon said on Wednesday that the coalition wouldn't accept a negotiated surrender of up to 400 militants believed holed up in the last part of the city that remains in IS hands.
Dillon says up to 15 militants have surrendered in the past three weeks in Raqqa. The battle for the city is in its final stages.