On October 17, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of the Syrian city Raqqa from the group the Islamic State (IS). This was a big victory against the IS as Raqqa was the group’s established headquarters in Syria. The SDF is made up of some Syrian rebel groups backed by the United States, United Kingdom, and a few other nations.
The IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) is a group whose aim is to establish a state for Muslim people where strict Islamic law is followed. The group’s leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He calls himself a spiritual leader of the Muslim people. The group is well-funded and powerful. In 2014, the IS started taking over large parts of Iraq, and then moved on to take over parts of Syria.
The IS is known for being strict, harsh, and brutal. The group has killed many people, including many Muslims who don’t agree with its philosophy. The group’s followers have also staged attacks in other nations such as the Philippines, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and the United States. The IS took over a bunch of cities, including Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. The group set up its center of operations in these two cities. The Iraqi army took back control of Mosul in July this year.
The situation in Syria is quite complicated. A civil war has been going on in the nation, and several groups are involved in the fighting. It started in 2011 when Syrians began protests against their president. Assad, who had been Syria’s president for over 10 years at the time, refused to step down. He even used force against the protesters. Rebel groups formed and started fighting against the Syrian government. The Islamic State also joined in, fighting both the rebels and Assad’s troops. The IS wants to control Syria. Assad has support from Russia. Some of the rebels are supported by the United States and other nations. Both Russia and the United States are against the IS. All the fighting amongst the various groups has created a real hardship for Syrian people. Millions have fled their homes in search of safety and many people have died. There is a serious shortage of food and essentials in the country.
Here is a video about Raqqa.
Image Credits: U.S Army for the image of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, http://www.presidentassad.net for the image of Assad
Sources: BBC, TRT World, CNN