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raqa News

Syria forces impose 'curfew' in Raqa fearing instability, IS

Beirut - Security forces in Syria's Raqa announced a two-day curfew starting Sunday, citing instability and fears of Islamic State group attacks in the jihadists' former stronghold.

To fast or not? Free of IS, Syrians in Raqa mark relaxed Ramadan

Ak - To fast or not to fast? For the first time in years, Syrians in Raqa can choose to observe a relaxed Ramadan, without the rigid regulations imposed by the Islamic State group and their religious police.

Syrian lawyer involved in Raqa IS deal found dead: Kurds

Beirut - A prominent lawyer involved in a deal that saw some Islamic State jihadists given safe passage out of their Syrian bastion Raqa last year was found dead on Thursday, authorities said.

At beloved falafel shop, Syrians get taste of pre-war Raqa

Ak - Raqa is still mostly a sinister ghost town of gutted buildings and rubble-strewn streets but there is one place teeming with activity in the Syrian city: Ammar Qassab's falafel shop.

This Christmas, Raqa's churches demined but deserted

Ak - Two historic churches in Syria's Raqa will be declared free of explosives just in time for Christmas, but the devastation in the city has left no one to celebrate in them.

Turkey condemns 'escape' of Raqa jihadists

Ankara - Turkey on Wednesday condemned as "an extremely grave revelation" the potential escape of hundreds of jihadists from the Syrian city of Raqa, saying it underscored the perils of Washington's alliance with Kurdish fighters.

First civilians return to Raqa after mines cleared: US-backed force

Birut - Hundreds of civilians have returned to a battered district of Syria's Raqa in what a US-backed force said was the first wave of returns since it cleared explosives left by jihadists.

Lipstick, mixed dancing at first Raqa wedding since IS

Ak - At a house in Syria's Raqa, women and men danced together in celebration at a wedding that would have been unimaginable just months ago, when the Islamic State group ruled the city.

In Raqa, jihadists are gone but they can still kill

Ak - Dozens of civilians at a checkpoint into Raqa were pleading to be let through to inspect their homes when an explosion ripped through the air: one resident had slipped in.

Russia likens US coalition bombing of Raqa to WWII Dresden

Moscow - Russia on Sunday accused the US-led coalition in Syria of having flattened Raqa with a Dresden-like bombing campaign and masking the destruction with a rush of humanitarian aid.

In ravaged Raqa, clues to IS's bygone media empire

Ak - "Special operations by the Caliphate's soldiers!" boasts a torn, blood-stained pamphlet at a bombed-out media kiosk in Syria's Raqa, a symbol of the Islamic State group's once fearsome propaganda machine.

Heartbroken residents get glimpse of Raqa in ruins

Ak - Tears streaming down her freckled face, 35-year-old Asya took in the shattered glass, gutted storefronts and crumbling cafes -- all that remain of her favourite shopping street in Syria's Raqa.

France sees Bataclan vengeance in Raqa victory

Madrid - France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday that the devastating November 2015 Paris attacks had "not gone unpunished" after the Islamic State group was expelled from its Syrian stronghold Raqa.

Kurdish-led force hails 'historic' Raqa victory but handover on hold

Ak - The Kurdish-led force that expelled the Islamic State group from Syria's Raqa hailed a "historic victory" Friday in the devastated city's stadium and vowed to hand power to a civilian administration.

Free but in ruins, uphill struggle to rebuild Syria's Raqa

Birut - The Islamic State group's former Syrian stronghold Raqa has been captured, but it lies ruined, littered with explosives, and lacking electricity or running water for residents desperate to return.

Fighters in Syria's Raqa prepare for civilian handover

Ak - US-backed forces who captured Raqa from the Islamic State group prepared to hand the Syrian city over to a civilian authority, with some of their fighters already headed to the next battle.

After IS, rotting corpses and empty jail cells in Syria's Raqa

Ak - Days ago in Syria's Raqa, die-hard jihadists made their final stand in the city's national hospital. On Wednesday, it stood eerily silent, its entrance inhabited only by swarming flies and two rotting corpses.

Forces comb ghost city Raqa after IS ouster

Ak - Two days after retaking Raqa from Islamic State group jihadists and dealing their dreams of statehood a fatal blow, US-backed forces combed the ruins of the Syrian city for survivors and bombs.

Fighters celebrate Raqa victory on 'Roundabout of Hell'

Ak - With his only hand, Hazem Kobane planted the yellow flag of the Syrian Democratic Forces on Tuesday in the notorious roundabout in Raqa where Islamic State group jihadists carried out gruesome beheadings.

Islamic State group loses emblematic Syria stronghold Raqa

Ak - US-backed forces took full control of Raqa from the Islamic State group on Tuesday, defeating the last jihadist holdouts in the de facto Syrian capital of their now-shattered "caliphate".

IS fighters stage last stand as Raqa capture nears

Ak - US-backed fighters battled hundreds of Islamic State group jihadists holed up in the last pockets of Syria's Raqa, as the former extremist stronghold stood on the verge of capture.

US-backed forces in toughest Raqa fighting yet: spokeswoman

Birut - The US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance fighting to wrest the Syrian city of Raqa from the Islamic State group was engaged Monday in its toughest fighting yet, a spokeswoman said.

To beat IS, Syria force goes backs to basics

Ak - Once the last Islamic State group fighters are ousted from Syria's Raqa, the unconventional forces battling the jihadists say they'll have batteries and masking tape to thank for their victory.

3,000 civilians flee Syria's Raqa under deal: militia spokesman

Birut - More than 3,000 civilians have fled the Islamic State group's former Syrian stronghold Raqa, leaving behind only relatives of foreign IS fighters, a US-backed militia attacking the city said Sunday.

'Final phase' of battle for Raqa as civilians flee under deal

Ak - US-backed forces announced Sunday the "final phase" of the battle to retake Syria's Raqa, after the city was evacuated except for foreign Islamic State group fighters and their families.

US-backed force announces 'final phase' of Raqa battle

Ak - The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Sunday announced the "final phase" of the battle to capture Raqa, once the Syrian stronghold of the Islamic State group.

Some IS foreign fighters have left Raqa under deal: local official

Ak - Some foreign Islamic State group fighters have left the one-time jihadist bastion of Raqa in Syria under a deal as the city's capture nears, a local official said Sunday.

Foreign, Syrian IS fighters to evacuate Raqa in deal: local official

Yildiz - Syrian and foreign Islamic State group fighters are to evacuate their one-time bastion Raqa as part of an agreement brokered by tribal leaders, a senior local official told AFP Saturday.

Evacuation deal for Syria's Raqa as city's capture nears

Yildiz - Foreign and Syrian jihadists from the Islamic State group are to evacuate their former stronghold of Raqa, as US-backed forces near the capture of the city, a senior official said Saturday.

100 IS fighters surrender in Raqa in 24 hours: US-led coalition

Yildiz - Dozens of Islamic State group fighters have surrendered over the past day in their one-time bastion Raqa, the US-led coalition backing the offensive on the Syrian city said Saturday.
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A fighter from the Syrian Military Council (SMC)  Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democrati...
A fighter from the Syrian Military Council (SMC), Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces against the Islamic State group, walks on the western outskirts of Raqa on June 27, 2017
DELIL SOULEIMAN, AFP