Logo Wide

Raqqa’s Displaced Return Amid Ongoing Battles for ISIS-held City

Witnesses report many residents have returned to Raqqa as Islamic State forces close all exit roads leading out of the city
Raqqa’s Displaced Return Amid Ongoing Battles for ISIS-held City

Raqqa has witnessed the return of a large number of civilians who fled the city late last week following the recent battles between Kurdish units, backed by US-led coalition forces, and the Islamic State group.

According to eyewitnesses, many residents have returned to the city even though ISIS forces continue to close all roads out of the city, only allowing people to enter.

Al-Souria received information from residents confirming that many of them returned after renting houses in the nearby countryside or other cities that are controlled by ISIS, in the event they were forced to move again.

Sources also noted that most families left the women, elderly, children and sick members behind in safer areas, with only a few women returning alongside the men.

According to activist Mohammed al-Furati, the markets are gradually witnessing a return of activity after two days of shops closing their doors. He also pointed out that many trucks full of supplies have entered the city, adding that some were stored inside warehouses while others were given to merchants.

Furati said that despite ISIS losing control of some small villages with little strategic importance there has not been significant changes in the map of the ongoing battle.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a Kurdish source reported that military operations had targeted the ISIS-controlled Tabaqah area, which lies about 60 km to west of Raqqa and was captured by ISIS in 2014.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

Helpful keywords