Tag Archives: Raqa

Fighters in Syria's Raqa prepare for civilian handover

Fighters in Syria's Raqa prepare for civilian handoverUS-backed forces who captured Raqa from the Islamic State group prepared to hand the Syrian city over to a civilian authority, with some of their fighters already headed to the next battle. Inside the city, positions that had long been manned by fighters of the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were abandoned, though some remained in the central Al-Naim square, dancing and ululating as they celebrated their victory. The SDF battled for more than four months, with US-led coalition support, to capture the city that was once the de facto Syrian capital of IS’s self-styled “caliphate”.



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After IS, rotting corpses and empty jail cells in Syria's Raqa

After IS, rotting corpses and empty jail cells in Syria's RaqaDays ago in Syria’s Raqa, die-hard jihadists made their final stand in the city’s national hospital. On Wednesday, it stood eerily silent, its entrance inhabited only by swarming flies and two rotting corpses. Each body lay next to an overturned motorcycle on the side of a thoroughfare leading to the abandoned, bullet-riddled complex, which US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announced on Tuesday was clear of Islamic State group fighters.



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US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa: HRW

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa: HRWUS-led coalition strikes near the Islamic State group’s Syrian stronghold Raqa in March killed at least 84 civilians, including dozens of children, Human Rights Watch alleged Monday. The group said the strikes hit two sites: a school housing displaced families in the town of Mansourah, and a market and bakery in the town of Tabqa. It said witnesses acknowledged IS fighters had been present at both sites, but that large number of civilians were also there.



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Raqa children tormented by beheadings, bombs: charity

Raqa children tormented by beheadings, bombs: charityChildren escaping Syria’s Raqa have been “tormented” by years of living under jihadist rule culminating in a ferocious bombing campaign on the city, a charity said on Monday. It could take decades for young people from the Islamic State group’s stronghold to overcome their psychological injuries, Save the Children warned. The NGO interviewed children and their families who escaped the war-torn city, where a US-backed assault is battling to defeat IS.



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US-backed Syria forces battle IS in Raqa Old City

US-backed Syria forces battle IS in Raqa Old CityUS-backed fighters fought pitched battles Sunday with Islamic State group jihadists inside their Syria bastion Raqa, an AFP correspondent said. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Arab-Kurd alliance, first entered Raqa two months ago and have since captured more than half of the northern city, but their progress has met fierce resistance from IS. On Sunday, the two sides battled inside Raqa’s Old City, trading volleys of mortar rounds and heavy machinegun fire, said the correspondent who was on the outskirts of the historic centre.



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US-backed Syria forces battle IS in Raqa Old City

US-backed Syria forces battle IS in Raqa Old CityUS-backed fighters fought pitched battles Sunday with Islamic State group jihadists inside their Syria bastion Raqa, an AFP correspondent said. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Arab-Kurd alliance, first entered Raqa two months ago and have since captured more than half of the northern city, but their progress has met fierce resistance from IS. On Sunday, the two sides battled inside Raqa’s Old City, trading volleys of mortar rounds and heavy machinegun fire, said the correspondent who was on the outskirts of the historic centre.



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US-backed Syria force ousts IS from half of Raqa

US-backed Syria force ousts IS from half of RaqaA US-backed alliance has ousted Islamic State group jihadists from half of their Syrian bastion Raqa, a monitor said Wednesday, as the escalating fighting drove up the civilian death toll. The SDF “are now in control of 50 percent of Raqa city despite the fierce resistance mounted by IS”, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. The SDF assault has been backed by air strikes, special forces advisers, equipment and weapons from the US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.



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Syrian civilians fleeing IS in Raqa turn to smugglers

Syrian civilians fleeing IS in Raqa turn to smugglersCivilians fleeing the Islamic State group’s Syrian bastion of Raqa are paying smugglers to lead them out of the city safely, only to find themselves caught up in harrowing attacks. Tens of thousands of civilians have fled Raqa and the surrounding province since the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began an offensive to capture the jihadist stronghold last year. In the Ain Issa camp, where thousands of people displaced from Raqa have sought refuge, many civilians say they were promised safe passage by smugglers who ended up leading them into deadly situations.



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Sold by IS in Raqa, Yazidi female fighters back for revenge

Sold by IS in Raqa, Yazidi female fighters back for revengeShe was trafficked into Raqa as a sex slave by the Islamic State group but managed to escape. Now Yazidi fighter Heza is back to avenge the horrors she and thousands of others suffered. “When I started fighting, I lifted some of the worries from my heart,” she says, surrounded by fellow Yazidi militia women in Raqa’s eastern Al-Meshleb district.



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US-backed forces face fierce IS resistance in Raqa Old City

US-backed forces face fierce IS resistance in Raqa Old CityUS-backed fighters inched forwards in Raqa’s Old City against fierce resistance Wednesday, after penetrating the heart of the Islamic State group’s Syrian bastion, a spokesman and a monitor said. The Syrian Democratic Forces — an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters — entered the historical quarter after air strikes by the US-led coalition punched two holes in its ramparts late on Monday. The jihadists deployed four weaponised drones and several suicide bombers in vehicles against the advancing fighters, said a spokesman for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which makes up a bulk of the SDF.



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