US-led coalition must do more for Syria’s Raqqa as 80% of city is in ruins – Amnesty
US-led airstrikes destroyed much of Syria’s Raqqa while crushing Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) last year, but the coalition has done little to help it recover, Amnesty International said on Friday. Nearly a year after the battle, 80 percent of the city is in ruins and thousands of bodies lie in the rubble, with funding to recover them poised to run out, said Anya Neistat, senior director of global research at the rights group. “It’s absolutely shocking in Raqqa how little over this last year has actually been done to bring life back to the city,” she said in Beirut after visiting Raqqa. “The coalition, given that they have the money to carry out this very, very expensive military campaign, should have enough money to work with its consequences,” she added. Raqqa was the Syrian capital of IS’s self-proclaimed caliphate and was retaken last year by a group of Kurdish and Arab militias supported by airstrikes from a US-led coalition. Some 30,000 houses in Raqqa have been completely destroyed and 25,000 are partially destroyed, Reuters quoted Neistat as saying.