Explosion smoke rises over Turkey Syria border

Kurdish reports say Turkish troops bombed a convoy of vehicles taking residents of Raqqa to a border town, inflicting casualties. While mortars fired from Syria landed in a Turkish town along the border, wounding at least two people there. (Oct. 10)

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In Syria camp, uncertain future for foreign IS orphans | AFP

Displaced Syrian women volunteer as caretakers for orphans of foreign Islamic State(IS) group fighters, saying the children are still visibly scarred after living with their late parents under IS, at Ain issa camp in Syria’s northwestern Raqqa province.

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One Syrian family’s struggle to start afresh in France

The Al Fakhry family are refugees who have lived in the town of Quissac, in southern France, for the past two and a half years. Originally from Raqqa in Syria, grandparents Asaad and Shiar and three of their seven children were welcomed to the town by a couple of Protestant pastors in September 2016. The family, of Muslim faith, whose house and bookshop were destroyed, fled to Turkey in 2013 before Raqqa fell to fighters from the Islamic State group.

2 Guys From Brooklyn Went To Syria To Fight ISIS. Now They’re Back (HBO)

Christopher is a former bike racer and photographer currently working as a metalworker in Brooklyn. His roommate, Chris, works as a theatre director. It’s a big change from a year ago, when both of them were in Syria, fighting the Islamic State as part of a Kurdish militia.

One year ago the U.S.-backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), finished a four month campaign to push ISIS out of its Syrian capital, Raqqa. Official American involvement in Raqqa was limited to airstrikes and small teams of elite special forces troops. But the YPG, a socialist Kurdish militia, didn’t have the same limitations, drawing hundreds of foreign, less-than-experienced fighters to its ranks.

Signing up was easy — both men found applications on Google. That’s also how they met, while fighting for the YPG, and they were there on the day Raqqa officially changed hands. (After hearing rumors that ISIS had placed a bounty on the heads of foreign fighters, Chris and Christopher requested to be identified only by their first names or Kurdish noms de guerre.)

“Most of the time it was super boring,” said Christopher. Chris says he read the “whole cannon” of Shakespeare during his time in Syria.

And like many foreign fighters, Chris decided to hide his involvement in the Syrian war, avoiding social media, and only telling close friends and family where he was. Christopher, on the other hand, took a slightly different approach, building a small Instagram following, where he posted updates from the battle in Raqqa and propagandized in support of Kurdish revolutionaries.

VICE News Tonight met Christopher and Chris in New York to ask what exactly compelled them to run off to Syria to fight for the Kurdish cause.

This segment originally aired October 17, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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These Brooklynites Went To Fight ISIS In Syria. Now, They’re Back. (HBO)

Christopher is a former bike racer, photographer who’s now a metalworker. Chris, his roommate in Brooklyn, New York, is a theatre director.

But a year ago they took a break from their jobs and went to Syria, to fight the Islamic State.

Despite the thousands of ISIS fighters that foreign recruits, official American involvement in Raqqa was limited to airstrikes and small teams of elite special forces troops. But the YPG, a socialist Kurdish militia that dominated the SDF coalition, also drew hundreds of foreign, less experienced fighters. The two Brooklynites, Christopher and Chris, met while fighting for the YPG and were there on the day Raqqa officially changed hands.

Before traveling to Syria, Christopher spent most of his time with bikes, racing and fixing them, while Chris dedicated himself to Shakespearean theatre. Like many foreign fighters, Chris decided to hide his involvement in the Syrian war, avoiding social media, and only telling close friends and family where he was.Christopher, on the other hand, built a small Instagram following where he posted updates from the battle in Raqqa and propagandized in support of Kurdish revolutionaries.

VICE News Tonight met Christopher and Chris, in New York, to ask what compelled them to fight for the Kurdish cause.

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Mass graves with 1,200 civilians found in Raqqa, US-led coalition denies responsibility

The horror of war can be seen in the Syrian city of Raqqa. The bodies of more than 1,200 civilians, the majority of them women & children, have been discovered in three mass graves there. It is claimed they were killed when the US-led coalition bombed the area. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/99oz

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After The Fall In Raqqa (Trailer) | VICE on HBO, Season 6

The fight for the future of Syria has turned the nation into a chessboard for competing world powers. But for civilians in the former ISIS capital city Raqqa, the ghosts of the past make the future hard to imagine.

Isobel Yeung returns to Syria to tell the stories of those who were caught in the crossfire between the most feared terror group on Earth and the US-backed coalition, whose collateral damage destroyed most of the city.

See it this Friday at 7:30 PM and 11 PM EDT on HBO.

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Bodies still rotting under rubble year after liberation of Raqqa

After years under the control of Islamic State terrorists, the Syrian city of Raqqa was liberated back in 2017. But it paid a heavy price for this liberation.

RT Arabic obtained exclusive video of Raqqa – showing that, even now, the streets are strewn with bodies.

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‘Nobody will ever know number of civilian deaths in Raqqa’ – US coalition

It’s been one year since the start of the operation to liberate Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS, but the actual human cost of the operation, remains far from clear. According to the US-led coalition, the number of civilians killed in the battle for Raqqa, will never be known. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/96tj

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The end justifies the means? US aid chief visits Raqqa, speaks of damage beyond description

The U.S. government’s aid chief says the destruction in the Syrian city of Raqqa is beyond description – after America’s devastating bombing campaign there against Islamic State terrorists.

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Gruesome find: Over 100 killed by ISIS recovered from 2 mass graves in Syria

Two mass graves uncovered near the former terrorist stronghold of Raqqa became the final resting place for dozens of Syrians executed by ISIS. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8vyh

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ISIS 2.0? US may regroup with former ISIS fighters – Middle East analyst

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have confirmed to RT that thousands of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists and their family members were allowed to leave Raqqa, shortly before the city was fully recaptured. Ali Rizk, a contributor with the Al-Monitor news site, thinks the Americans were an integral part of a deal to see IS help form a buffer against Iran.

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ISIS fighters and family members allowed to leave Raqqa in secret – US-backed rebels

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have confirmed to RT that thousands of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists and their family members were allowed to leave Raqqa, shortly before the city was fully recaptured. Earlier it was reported that the deal with IS had been agreed with the knowledge of the US-led coalition.

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RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

ISIS convoys leaving Raqqa, confirmed in SDF video footage

Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) confirmed from Raqqa that they had shot footage showing militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS) peacefully leaving Raqqa on their watch. Thought to have been filmed towards the end of the battle for Raqqa, the footage shows buses and trucks carrying dozens of IS militants from the embattled city, according to one of the fighters.

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Hundreds of terrorists feared to have fled Raqqa on US watch

It’s suspected that hundreds of Islamic State fighters may have been given free pass as they left the now-liberated Syrian city of Raqqa. It’s been reported that they were able to leave in convoys as part of a deal brokered to bring an end to the fighting in the area.

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China’s Live Streaming Stars & Hepatitis Outbreak: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

A deadly outbreak of Hepatitis A has forced California to declare a state of emergency. The disease is transferred by fecal matter, so people who lack access to proper sanitation are the most at risk. The city now faces an even larger issue: homelessness. Then, VICE News looks at how China’s live-streaming girls rake in billions. Plus, ISIS loses its stronghold in Raqqa. And, Weezer reviews new music in a fresh installment of Music Critic.

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‘ISIS girls beat me and left me here to die’: Woman unable to walk found after 8 days in Raqqa

Raqqa, Syria, recently liberated from Islamic State, was once home to around 300 thousand people. But after months of military operations by US-backed forces, less than one percent of its original population remains.

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Post-Raqqa Phase: New US strategy in Syria raises concerns

The US-backed coalition’s long fight in Raqqqa has now come to an end. Donald Trump lauded the liberation as ‘a critical breakthrough,’ adding that the campaign against ISIS will soon enter ‘a new phase.’
There were cases of a mass exodus of ISIS militants out of Raqqa during the US-led coalition operation to liberate the city.
RT’s Nikki Aaron has more.

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Ghost Town: Aerial footage of ruined Raqqa

Footage shows the embattled northern city of Raqqa and the devastation after the city was liberated from the Islamic State
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SDF clear war-torn Raqqa after driving ISIS from city

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were clearing and combing the roads of the war-ravaged city of Raqqa
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Cost of liberation: Fight for Raqqa devastates city, claims 1,000s of lives

The American-backed militia in Syria have declared a victory over Islamic State in Raqqa. US-led coalition is less optimistic, saying the city has only been 90% cleared of ISIS. The months-long battle ended with Syrian Democratic Forces reportedly raising flags over ISIS’s last bastion in the city.

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Syrian drift: SDF celebrating Raqqa’s liberation from ISIS

Syrian Democratic Forces take to the streets of Raqqa to celebrate the city’s liberation from ISIS. SDF militias said that they had fully captured Raqqa, as cited by AFP.
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Bombed & Looted: Civilians in Raqqa lost everything in anti-ISIS op, live in rubble

US-backed fighters in Syria now say they’re just a week away from liberating Islamic State’s one-time de facto capital, Raqqa.
But the effort to push the terrorists out of the city has left it in ruins. Not far from the city are a number of Assyrian Christian villages, which were repeatedly targeted by IS.
Here’s the story of one woman whose village was reduced to rubble.

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