Small Wars Journal

Freed From ISIS, Syrians Struggle to Rebuild Raqqa

Freed From ISIS, Syrians Struggle to Rebuild Raqqa by Ben C. Solomon and Ben Laffin – New York Times (Story & Video)

The Syrian city was liberated from the Islamic State more than a year and a half ago, but rebuilding is slow and hope is fading.

The liberation of Raqqa was a powerful blow to the Islamic State, which used the Syrian city as its capital.

More than a year after being freed from the brutality of ISIS fighters, though, residents here still face a grim reality: a city mostly in ruin, where rebuilding is slow and fears of radicalization are growing.

Our reporters met a family who survived an attack by ISIS forces and are now scraping by and a doctor who is sorting through the thousands of corpses left behind in an ambitious effort to identify the bodies.

While aid may be scarce, determination is not. Many in the city have taken it upon themselves to repair Raqqa’s infrastructure. Will it be enough?

Watch the full video.