Al-Raqqa: One year after the defeat of Da’ash
Jihadists no longer control the war-ravaged city, but sleeper cells continue to terrorize the population; a new local security force looks to bring quiet.
The jihadists’ brutal rule in Raqqa was brought to an end in October 2017 after a months-long ground offensive by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces supported by air strikes from a US-led coalition.
But despite manning roadblocks at every street corner, the SDF and the city’s newly created Internal Security Forces are struggling to stem infiltration by Da’ash sleeper cells.
At Raqqa’s entrance, soldiers verify drivers’ identity papers and carefully sift through lorry cargoes.