Civilians risk their lives to cross river in Raqqah


By Mohamad Misto and Adham Kako,

Raqqah, Syria/Istanbul: Civilians in a northern Syrian city have been risking their lives to cross the Euphrates River after bridges that the YPG/PKK terrorists destroyed have not been repaired even after a year.


The bridges, which link Raqqah city center with southern and western rural areas of the country, on the river collapsed when the U.S.-led coalition forces attacked the city in January 2017 during a campaign against Daesh terrorists.

Since October 2017, YPG/PKK terrorists have the control of Raqqah, which was once the enclave of Daesh terror group.

The YPG/PKK terrorists do not repair the bridges to prevent return of more civilians to the city center and to hinder their free movement, a local source, who wished to remain anonymous due to security threats, told Anadolu Agency.

The residents use unsophisticated motorized rafts, which provide no life safety.

The rafts, which are used by around 2,000 people daily, meet various needs such as transferring of patients, transportation of civilians, food supply and construction materials.

YPG/PKK terrorists and its so-called Raqqah civilian assembly have imposed taxes on the food and material carried on the rafts, according to the source.

Owners of the rafts said they warn people about the risks, but they have no other choice.

Mohammed Abu Khalid, one of the raft owners said: “Crossing the river via rafts is both risky and costly.”

He added that the transportation fee depends on the number of people and weight of the materials.

Khalid said it is more dangerous for the children and women who cannot swim.

and the city center was turned into ruins when the YPG/PKK cleared the area from Daesh.

On Oct. 17, 2017, the YPG/PKK backed by the U.S. forces cleared Daesh terrorists from Raqqah. More than 2,000 civilians had been killed during the U.S.-backed operation. The footage filmed by Anadolu Agency’s correspondent displayed the whole of Raqqah was turned into ruins.

A group of activists — named Raqqah is Being Slaughtered Silently — reported on Oct. 17, 2017 that 90 percent of the city was demolished.

On Dec. 14, 2017, Syrian Network for Human Rights said in a report that 2,371 civilians — including 562 children — were killed during the operation and around 450,000 civilians were left displaced.

The YPG/PKK terrorists began looting the city after taking the control. They also blocked the entrance of civilians, who had fled the clashes and wanted to return to the city.



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