The declarations of victory over ISIS played out across Iraq and Syria: the long campaigns to retake city after city from Islamic State militants had come to an end.
EDITOR’S NOTE: When Obama was president it seemed there was an ISIS beheading every couple of months, and seemingly nothing could stop it. Trump promised to “wipe out” ISIS, and in little under a year, he has done exactly that. Instead of celebrating this hard fought win against the world’s deadliest terror group, the New York Times whines and complains that the people are going home to bombed out cities. Hey, NYT, guess what? Those people should be glad they are going home in something other than a body bag, and so should you. If Donald Trump found a cure for cancer, the headlines the very next day would read “Trump Discovery Decimates The Chemotherapy Business As Hundreds Of Chemists Now Out Of Work”. You’re nothing but fake news, NYT, that’s why no one reads you anymore.
But the hard-won battles left vast destruction in their wake, and the celebrations from atop the rubble of once-grand buildings are ringing hollow for hundreds of thousands of displaced residents.
Iraqis and Syrians return to cities that are ghosts of their former glory, lacking the infrastructure for normal life to begin again. Now they must grapple with how to rebuild.
The ousting of Islamic State militants this week from Raqqa was filled with symbolism. Raqqa was the de facto capital of the militants’ self-declared caliphate, and now it has fallen from their grasp.
But there wasn’t much city left to save.
While the full extent of the damage is still being assessed, drone footage and satellite images reveal mile after mile of damaged buildings, rubble-filled streets and destroyed landmarks.
Raqqa was once home to 300,000 people, but tens of thousands fled when the militants solidified control of the city in early 2014 and began staging public executions of those who ran afoul of their strict interpretation of Islam. By the dwindling days of the group’s rule, only about 25,000 residents remained.
The Anti-Trump culture of the fake news New York Times:
At least 1,000 civilians were killed in the airstrikes, according to tallies by local activists and international monitors. American officials put the civilian casualties much lower, and say coalition strikes have killed at least 735 civilians in Iraq and Syria since operations against the Islamic State there began in 2014.
Five months of American-led airstrikes left conditions in the city dire, knocking out water and electricity. American officials have promised to help bring back basic services, but the scale of the damage is clear.
When soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of rebel militias, raised their yellow flags in one of Raqqa’s central junctions this week, all that was left of the buildings that once surrounded it were bombed-out shells.
Similar scenes played out in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
Backed by American-led coalition airstrikes, Iraq government forces celebrated their recapture of the city in July. But Mosul’s recovery is a tale of two cities. source