Thousands of civilians still trapped in Raqqa

Abdalaziz Alhamza “RBSS”

Forces participating in the battles against ISIS in Raqqa, comprised mainly of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the International Coalition, seem to have ignored the fact that tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped inside ISIS controlled neighborhoods there. These neighborhoods are now subjected to intense indiscriminate bombardment from these forces daily while ISIS terrorists are using civilians as human shields.

It is estimated that there are about 70 thousand civilians are trapped inside the city. Their current living conditions are a real humanitarian disaster due to severe food, water, and medical shortages.

When the military operations were launched over a month ago, most of the medical personnel fled the city along with other civilians. Several private hospitals are now out of service due to the heavy shelling. It is reported that there is only one operating hospital remaining inside Raqqa city, but it is not sufficient to provide adequate health services.

People living in neighborhoods near the front lines have been obligated by ISIS militants to abandon their houses and move towards the city center so they can be used as human shields. ISIS wishes to prevent as many civilians as possible from fleeing the city towards SDF controlled areas.

Satellite images show great destruction in the city’s neighborhoods and civilians inside the city are reporting on severe damage to houses, properties, and infrastructure.

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".