With ISIL gone, what's next for Syria's Raqqa? - The Stream

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It’s been a week since the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with the help of intensive bombing raids from a US-led coalition, dealt a huge blow to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by taking full control of the Syrian city of Raqqa.

In 2014, ISIL captured the city and made it the de facto capital of its self-proclaimed “caliphate”. And while the fall of Raqqa is major setback for ISIL, the ordeal is far from over for the people of this once vibrant city. The offensive, which began in June, caused widespread destruction, leaving roughly 270,000 people homeless and sparking a serious humanitarian crisis.

“Raqqa has inherited the fate of Dresden in 1945, wiped off the face of the earth by Anglo-American bombardments,” a Russian Defence Ministry spokesman told Reuters. The US-led coalition rebuffed the comparison to the Allied bombings in Germany during World War Two and said it was careful to avoid civilian casualties.

With their city in ruins and the battle over, what’s next for the city of Raqqa and its people?

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