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Hundreds flee battles in Raqqa

Hundreds of civilians in Raqqa are forced to flee their city as the battle to liberate it from the Islamic State rages on.
A general view shows the damage along a street in the Raqqa's al-Sanaa industrial neighbourhood, Syria June 14, 2017. Picture taken June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTS175OR

ALEPPO, Syria — Dozens of vehicles carrying displaced citizens from Raqqa province arrive in Aleppo’s northern countryside daily. Raqqa has witnessed violent battles between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Islamic State (IS) since June 6, when the SDF launched military operations in the province to expel IS.

The SDF took control of Raqqa city, which is located in northeast Syria, in March 2013, but IS fought the armed opposition factions in the city and took complete control of the city in early 2014. Because the fighting in Raqqa had calmed down, it soon turned into a destination for Syrian refugees from cities and villages where violent battles with the Syrian regime forces were raging.

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