In Raqqa civilians eat grass and no one picks up bodies strewn in the streets of the embattled city, said the Times newspaper in a report by its correspondent in Beirut, Richard Spencer on Tuesday.
“The battle for Raqqa has become the most gruesome of this long summer’s series of urban sieges,” said the report. It added that “those who escape Raqqa are confined to desert camps, with borders shut, nowhere to go and a hostile regime retaking control of the country.”
While ISIS has its own food stores, residents of the city have nothing to eat, the report went on, adding that survivors become scavengers.
“The number of civilians killed in the aerial bombardment has been high even by the standard of this war: well over 700 by the end of last week, according to Airwars, a monitoring group based in London.”
The report went on: “Leaving aside the bombing that has destroyed the city, for the estimated 20,000 civilians left there is no water, no food and no electricity. Half of them are children, according to Fran Equiza, the country director for Unicef.”
According to the report, Raqqa has been portrayed as a small dusty city of little intrinsic worth beyond the fact that it was the first major Syrian town to fall to ISIS. It pointed out that before the war, Raqqa had a reputation for free-thinking even though it is at the heart of the northern Euphrates valley, home to the most conservative tribes of Iraq and Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Arabi21)