[Published on AFP’s Correspondent Blog on May 24, 2019]
Mosul — “There are families living in this alleyway.” The Arabic words were hand-painted in red, black, and blue on a tattered canvas, pinned up where a small side street led off a main thoroughfare in Iraq’s Mosul. The alleyway looked anything but livable — bullet holes and craters from mortar rounds still scarred the walls around it nearly two years after the fighting had stopped, and sewage water gurgled down the cracked pavement. The banner, my AFP colleagues said, was hung to alert passing aid groups to needy residents eking out a living, unseen, in the battered labyrinth of west Mosul.
[Published here on February 21, 2019]
Two feet deep, below a plot of farmland outside the Syrian city of Raqa, lies a large and deadly legacy of the Islamic State group: a mass grave holding an estimated 3,500 people.
[Published here on October 22, 2017]
“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. Continue reading
[Published here October 16, 2017]
Raqa (Syria) (AFP) – 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.
[Published here on October 13, 2017]
Ain Issa (Syria) (AFP) – As US-backed forces fight to oust the Islamic State group from its last hideouts in Syria’s Raqa, a city council-in-exile is already working to bring life back to its devastated home town.
[Published here on October 9, 2017]
Raqa (Syria) (AFP) – US-backed fighters battling to oust the Islamic State group from Syria’s Raqa were nearing the “final week” of their assault, the campaign’s commander told AFP on Sunday. Continue reading
[Published here October 9, 2017]
Hawi al-Hawa (Syria) (AFP) – As fighters from the Islamic State group retreat into a shrinking part of Syria’s Raqa, they are dragging along terrified civilians for cover against a ferocious US-backed onslaught.