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Citizens of Raqqa revolt against US-controlled militants — Russian top brass

March 30, 13:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian general noted that the situation in Syria's Raqqa is catastrophic

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Raqqa, Syria

Raqqa, Syria

© EPA-EFE/YOUSSEF RABIH YOUSSEF

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Local citizens in a suburb of Syria’s Raqqa have started an uprising against arbitrary actions of groups controlled by the United States, head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorate Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy said on Friday.

"On March 25, an uprising of the local Arab population against arbitrary actions of groups controlled by the US began near the settlement of Al-Mansurah located some 25 km to the south-west of Raqqa," Rudskoy said.

"The local Arab citizens are subjected to repressions and extortions, they are forcibly mobilized. This arouses severe discontent of local citizens," Rudskoy explained.

The general noted that the situation in Raqqa, in northern Syria, is catastrophic. In the governorate’s capital, where some 95,000 people have come back, "the infrastructure has been almost fully destroyed and the citizens have no access to utility and social services."

Just one hospital and a maternity clinic operate in the city. The water pipeline has been out of work causing serious problems with the water supply. Water is delivered from the Euphrates River and this increases the risk of the spread of infections and epidemics, he said.

"The Syrian Democratic Forces command and local self-government bodies appointed by the Americans have been unable to solve humanitarian problems," the general said.

Humanitarian situation in Raqqa

Russia’s General Staff has also called to provide access to Syria’s Raqqa and Rukban for international humanitarian organizations and convoys of the United Nations. 

"In order to save civilians, including sick and wounded persons, we call to provide access to Raqqa and Rukban for international humanitarian organizations and UN humanitarian convoys. We hope that our Western partners and other parties concerned will use their sway on the leaders of armed groups and guarantee that the international humanitarian assistance will reach its destination," Rudskoy said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces’ command and local self-government bodies, appointed by the US, have been unable to solve humanitarian problems and local citizens are subjected to repressions and extortions, according to the general.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura earlier said that the UN was ready to deploy a mission to Raqqa to assess the assistance, which is in demand. According to him, such trips to other areas, including to Afrin, Rukban, Homs and Eastern Ghouta, are also needed.

Raqqa, a stronghold of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), was liberated on October 17, 2017 by Arab and Kurdish units of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They were supported by the US-led military alliance.

In mid-March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia would insist in the UN Security Council on immediately sending a humanitarian mission to Raqqa.

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