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Raqqa’s displaced flee to Iraqi border areas

The residents of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor are fleeing the fighting and are heading to al-Hawl camp in Hasakah, where conditions are harsh for the thousands of displaced.
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AL-HAWL CAMP, Syria — Amid the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advance toward areas controlled by the Islamic State (IS), thousands of Syrian civilians have fled the cities of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in the east of the country, where IS proclaimed its caliphate in June 2014.

Abdul Sattar, who hails from the IS-controlled town of al-Bukamal, which lies southeast of Deir ez-Zor, told Al-Monitor how he was stuck for 18 days with his wife and three children in the desert surrounded by mines. They had to walk to Rajm al-Salibi, which is located in the countryside of Hasakah and under the control of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

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