Thursday, 19 November 2015
Syrian female doctor who escaped Isis: 'Our lives in Raqqa turned to black'
'In 2013, Raqqa became the first city to fall to rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. Syrians called it the "Bride of the Revolution". A variety of rebel groups, from religious moderates to hard-line Islamists, held power. Within a year, IS had eliminated rival insurgents and controlled nearly every aspect of daily life.
"At the first stage of the city being occupied by IS, people tried to resist their rules and even tried to protest, but then they realised it was a matter of life or death. So it was impossible," Raheb says.
At the end of September, Russian jets joined the crowded skies above northern Syria. Although President Vladimir Putin has said they are attacking IS, air strikes have mostly targeted other rebel groups fighting against Bashar al-Assad. "I need to say that Russian attacks, even when they target Raqqa city, have never approached IS centres – never," Raheb says. "They sent them randomly and without any caution. They are targeting all the other militants, even the moderate ones, just because of their interests in protecting Assad." '