The United Nations has expressed serious concerns over the humanitarian condition in Syria’s northern city of Raqqah, describing the territory still controlled by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group as “the worst place” in the conflict-plagued Arab country.
“The worst place probably today in Syria is the part of Raqqah that is still held by Daesh,” Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian adviser for Syria, told reporters in Geneva on Thursday.
The city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the Takfiris’ administrative and control tasks the following year.
It is estimated that some 300,000 civilians are trapped inside Raqqah, including 80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria. Thousands have fled in recent months, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes about 160,000 people remain in the city.
On June 6, the US-backed militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they had launched an operation aimed at pushing Daesh out of Raqqah.
“They (civilians) are encircled by the SDF fighters and they are used seemingly as human shields by Daesh,” Egeland said, noting that “constant air raids” by the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group also threaten their lives.The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.
“We are therefore urging the coalition, the SDF whom we can deal with to allow as much as they can people to escape,” the UN official pointed out.
Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011.
The Damascus government has repeatedly blamed certain foreign countries for the spread of the devastating militancy.