Tag: Raqqa

With Islamic State (ISIS) on the retreat in parts of northern and eastern Syria, activists and civil society organizations are refocusing their efforts on counter-extremism and establishing deradicalization programs, hoping to erase the militants’ entrenched ideology. (More…)

Raqqa, for me, was a window into freedom. The Syrian government arrested me in 2011 for photographing protests and posting them on social media. I was detained for nine months and released in mid-2012, but I did not return to my hometown of Deir Ezzor. (More…)

AIN Al-ISSA – In a dank and dingy room in a camp for internally displaced persons in northern Syria, a striking woman wearing mascara and a long black chador steps through a broken door frame. (More…)

Umm Omar had not seen her youngest son, Ali, in three years before he was killed by a US-led coalition airstrike on Raqqa city. He is just one of the roughly 500 people who have reportedly been killed by coalition airstrikes on ISIS’s former Syrian stronghold since June. (More…)

Damascus-based communication coordinator, Pawel Krzysiek, discusses the factors contributing to the unprecedented toll of urban warfare on Syria’s civilians, and what the warring parties and their supporters must do to save lives. (More…)

ERBIL The U.S. decision to directly arm the Syrian Kurds fighting the so-called Islamic State is not a complete shift in the White House administration’s policy with the Kurds or Turkey, but it is a necessary step in securing the defeat of militants on the ground, U.S.-backed fighters said. (More…)

The United States intervened militarily in Syria under the premise of the “war on terror” and the fight against ISIS, but their presence is actually helping the Syrian government. (More…)

Islamic State’s retreat from the Turkish border, and the arrest of multiple suicide bombers trying to cross over to hit Turkish targets this weekend, shows that the group’s strategy is changing rapidly. With Turkey still a source of illegal funds and recruits, ISIS nonetheless appears much less concerned with maintaining a “live and let live” approach with the security forces.  (More…)

As ISIS swept over large swathes of the eastern province, former FSA fighter Abu Khadija pledged his allegiance, believing the extremists were his best bet to topple the Assad government. Now, after escaping, he wishes he could take it all back. (More…)

Yesterday, my city was hit. My city of “zinnekes”, those people from everywhere on earth who, like me, become “Brusseleirs” in the remarkable cosmopolitan cauldron that makes Brussels the (small) New York of Europe. (More…)