RNA – In an exclusive report for Rasa News Agency, Firas Samuri, a freelance journalist, wrote about the crimes of the American-led international coalition in Raqqah.
Currently, the attention of mainstream media is focused on the situation in the battered enclave of Eastern Ghoutah. More than 80,000 civilians have already fled the region via humanitarian corridors despite numerous threats from terrorists, and the humanitarian situation there is being improved day by day. However, the same cannot be said of Raqqah that lies in ruins.
For almost four years since 2013 until 2017 Raqqah was run by Daesh terrorists. The residents who were unable to flee the city had to obey the laws of the terrorists. Those who had refused to comply with the rules of Daesh were subjected to torture or publicly executed on the city’s streets.
In October 2017, after five months of grueling battle, the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ended the battle for de-facto Daesh capital. However, the American media were silent about the price of victory in Raqqah.
Yet, during the city’s assault, several Syrian experts pointed to the irresponsible and ill-considered actions of the American-led international coalition. The coalition strikes frequently led to the numerous victims among civilians and extensive destruction of civilian infrastructure instead of the elimination of terrorists.
On October 19, 2017, USA Today with the reference to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, the total civilian death toll at over 1,800, and around 80% of the city is completely destroyed.
Actually, much more people suffered from terrorist attacks as well as actions of the so-called liberators. This is evidenced by mass graves containing bodies of dozens of civilians and Syrian servicemen found in the outskirts of Raqqah.
At the same time, a woman told France 24 journalists that all her relatives had been killed by a coalition airstrike and their bodies were still under the rubble of her house. She also said the Kurdish commanders had tried to extort money for the alleged reconstruction of Raqqah instead of any assistance or support.
Notably, due to the rise of daily temperatures, the dead bodies lying under the rubble start to decompose very rapidly. Then putrefaction enters to the soil and groundwater that could lead to numerous disease outbreaks and dangerous epidemic.
Indeed, after the total liberation of Raqqah by SDF and American servicemen, the locals are still oppressed. This time the acts of aggression come from Kurds.
Nowadays, the locals face yet another threat in the shape of improvised explosive devices, which have been left by terrorists. According to a statement from Human Rights Watch, homemade landmines have killed and injured at least 500 civilians, including more than 150 children, in Raqqah, Syria since Daesh was pushed out of the city in October 2017.
Such information sounds shocking and raises many questions to the SDF ‘engineering units’ that started demining works only one month after its full liberation.
Nowadays, Raqqah looks like a ghost town with ruined and uninhabitable houses as the restoration works have not started in full swing. Moreover, the water and electricity supply have not yet been restored.
In comparison, demining and dismantling the explosive devices in Aleppo by the Syrian sappers, with the support of the Russian colleagues, began just after the liberation of the city and took only three months.
Furthermore, the American authorities have repeatedly stated their intention to take an active role in the restoration, mine-clearance as well as assistance to the locals after the full liberation of the city from Daesh. After the city fell under the control of SDF Washington preferred to break its promises.
So, the United States is directly responsible for the current catastrophic humanitarian situation in Raqqah. By turning the city into ruins Washington tries to cover up the war crimes committed by its forces and block entrance of the humanitarian aid sent by the United Nations. Such illegal actions give up hopes of the locals on returning to peace.