المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Al-Raqqah…between the declaration of starting the “liberation battle” and the official declaration of the “liberation”… shocking figures

About 80% of Al-Raqqah city is destroyed and unfit for housing…hundreds of thousands of homeless people…thousands of civilian casualties, missing and wounded

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored resentment prevails the Arab opposition side, because of raising pictures of ((the leader of Kurdistan Workers’ Party Abdullah Öcalan)) by the YPJ in the center of Al-Raqqah city which is free of the “Islamic State” organization, in which the raising in Al-Naimah roundabout in the center of Al-Raqqah city by the YPJ of the YPG which is the main pillar of the Syria Democratic Forces, provoked the anger of the people of the city and the Arab opposition side, this action coincided with the declaration about the “liberation” of the city by the YBJ, which is expected to be followed today the 20th of October 2017, by final and official declaration by the SDF and the International Coalition, after the Grand Battle which started in the 6th of June 2017

The city which was inhabited by 300 – 350 thousand citizens, is now free of most of its inhabitants whose fate distributed, in which some of them were killed or injured, some are still missing, some of them died and their bodies are still under the ruins of the destruction, and some chose to emigrate and displace from the city, to other Syrian territory, escaping from death in the city, to turn the city into a bloc of destruction void of life, in which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored great destruction inside Al-Raqqah city, in which the percentage of destruction and the building the became unfit for housing reached about 80% of the area of the city, which used during the past few years to be the main stronghold of ISIS in Syria, and the headquarters of the operations in Syria.

The clashes which has stopped since the 21st of September 2017, followed by intensive sweeping in the city, followed by evacuating the city of Syrian and foreign members of the “Islamic State” organization, after long negotiations between the latest and the International Coalition, finished by the surrender of the foreign members, and transporting the Syrian members of the organization with their families out of the city, thus, the organization completely lost its present in Al-Raqqah province, after being expelled in the past weeks and months by the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them from the western and southwestern countryside of Al-Raqqah as well as the eastern and southern countryside, in addition to ending the organization’s existence in the entire north of Euphrates by the Syria Democratic Forces supported by the International Coalition, and from Al-Tabaqa area in the southern banks of the river until the eastern area of al-Ekirshi east of Al-Raqqah.

The destruction in the city also came as a result of the intensive shelling by the International Coalition and the shelling by the forces of “Euphrates Wrath” Operation, as well as the explosions by using booby trapped vehicles and the mines which were planted intensively in the city by the organization, and the military operations in the city during the past weeks, which resulted in the missing of hundreds of citizens, the fat of some of them is still unknown, while some others died and their bodies are still under the ruins of the buildings that were shelled, in which the thousands of aerial and rocket strikes by the International Coalition on the neighborhoods of Al-Raqqah city resulted in the death and the injury of thousands of citizens, in which the death toll of the citizens has increased, after the fate of tens of them was revealed lately, after the were lost and their destiny was unknown, in which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of 1172 citizens including an activist in the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 276 children and 203 citizen women, they were killed in Al-Raqqah city and its countryside since the 5th of June 2017 until the 20th of October 2017, and the casualties are 1156 citizens including 273 children at least below the age of eighteen and 199 citizen women over the age of eighteen, they were killed in Al-Raqqah city, in addition to 16 citizens including 3 children and 4 citizen women were killed by raids on Zor Shammar village and another area on the southern banks of the Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Al-Raqqah, the air strikes also resulted in the injury of hundreds of citizens with varying degrees of severity, some of them have amputated limbs and permanent disabilities, while some of the injuries are still in serious cases, which may lead to the increase of the number of casualties, while dozens of houses and service facilities were destroyed in the city, as a result of this intensive bombing, which targeted Al-Raqqah city and its vicinity and outskirts.

The SOHR also documented that the international coalition air strikes and the heavy bombardment on al-Raqqah city and its outskirts along with the military offensives in the city that included shelling, bombings and clashes with the “Euphrates Wrath” Operations Forces, which is composed of the Syria Democratic Forces, the Syrian Elite Forces, and the US Special Forces backed by the International Coalition’s warplanes caused – since the launching of the battle until today the 6th of September 2017 until today the 20th of October 2017– the death of at least 1371 members of the “Islamic State” organization including two local  figures and commanders of groups, amid confirmed information about death of other members, in addition to injuring tens of them with varying degrees of severity, after their fate was revealed lately, after they were lost.

And the death of fighters, as a result of the explosion of mines during the sweeping operation, raised the death toll in the ranks of the SDF, in which the SOHR documented in the same period the death of 652 fighters of the “Euphrates Wrath” including 2 fighters from the Syrian Elites Forces, a Syriac Security Force fighter, 5 fighters of American, Georgian, British and Turkish nationalities, while the rest of them are from the Syria Democratic Forces, whose main pillar is the YPG, and fighters of Manbij Military Council, who were killed during clashes against the “Islamic State” organization and due to bombings in al-Raqqa city and the southern banks of Euphrates River, and as a result of mine explosions.

Also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of at least 161 civilians including 37 child and 10 citizen women in mine explosions while they were trying to get out of areas controlled by the “Islamic State” organization in Al-Raqqah city, to areas controlled by the SDF since the 5th of June 2017 until today the 20th of October 2017, in addition to the injury of tens of other civilians with varying degrees of severity and permanent disabilities.

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