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Saudi minister visits Raqqa for reconstruction talks

A destroyed Syrian school in Raqqa
File photo of a Syrian school in Raqqa hit by a Russian air strike in January 2016

Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer Al-Sabhan has visited the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, which was liberated from Daesh fighters earlier this week, to discuss plans for the reconstruction of the region, Reuters reported today.

Al-Sabhan was accompanied by US special envoy to the coalition against Daesh, Brett McGurk, and met the US-backed Syrian Defence Forces’ (SDF) newly formed Raqqa Civil Council.

According to Saudi media sources, Riyadh and Washington discussed the rebuilding of Raqqa, after months of relentless fighting destroyed most of the city’s infrastructure, leaving it uninhabitable.

Amed Sido, an adviser to the SDF alliance, said that the current priority for the reconstruction committee set up by the coalition would be to clear bodies from the debris and remove the remaining landmines planted by Daesh.

“They [Saudi Arabia] promised that they would contribute in construction in Raqqa in the future,” Sido said. “We consider it a first visit, a first step that could be the beginning of future relations.”

Read: The winners and losers in the reconstruction of Syria

Whilst Saudi Arabia is one of the 73 members of the US-led coalition in Syria, no state officials have been known to make a trip to the region.

Yesterday, a rights group revealed that some 1,873 civilians were killed and thousands were wounded during recent military operations carried out by the SDF and US-backed Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Raqqa. Approximately 270,000 people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid, according to Save the Children, with refugee camps at bursting point.

Daesh has lost swathes of territory this year to the SDF and to President Bashar Al-Assad’s Syrian Army allied with Russian forces, and has fallen back to the fertile Euphrates valley area downstream of Raqqa.

However, as the group retreats, tensions between the opposing forces of the SDF and pro-regime fighters are likely to surface in light of political negotiations over the country’s future that the United Nations hopes to discuss next month.

Read: US: Assad regime hindering victory in Raqqa

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Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaSyriaUS
  • nooraza othman

    This is so evil! Rogue NA*O-US/Isra*l and its PKK-led SDF Kurdish TERRORISTS completely destroyed the city under the pretext of fighting their MOSSAD/CIA-created IS/Daesh – a typical cunning MO, where they then claim it as abandoned city/properties towards their so-called independent ‘Kurdistan’ later on in Syria – just like in Iraq everwhere!

    Unfortunately, in the Zio Western MSM including Zio Al Jaz**ra, NA*O/US-ISra*l-sponsored rogue and most evil NA*O-US/ISra*l-backed PKK-led Kurdish terrorist OCCUPPIERS, mass murderers, drug gangs, rapists, land/property robbers and child-soldier traffickers and all its branches, SDF/YPG/PYD/KDP/KRG/Peshmerga/PJAK (Iranian Kurdish TERRORISTS) – are now exploiting so-called ‘feminist’ women/girls so-called ‘soldiers’ including now, Yazidi Kurdish females as their photo-op propaganda campaign, across the West/globally.

    And unfortunately, the Assad Govt. is being infiltrated by Kurdish TERRORISTS, such as SDF/YPG/PYD and instead of fighting them, are busy demonizing Turkey! Hence, NA*O-US/ISra*l-backed PKK-led Kurdish OCCUPATION and GENOCIDE of the Syria-Iraq’s Indigenous Sunni-Shia Muslim/ORTHODOX Catholic Arab/Turkmen/Persian/Assyrian/Aramean (Syriacs)/Armenian peoples; will continue! But these Kurdish TERRORISTS will play the ‘victimhood’ card as usual – as we can see from the Zio MSM coverage on the LIBERATION of Iraq from rogue TERRORIST ‘Kurdistan’ at the moment; and ironically, rogue TERRORIST /GENOCIDE-worshipping ZioEU-US/ZioUN are trying to forced so-called ‘dialogues’, in order to prevent Iraq from being LIBERATED by the Iraqi Army/PMU, from such rogue NA*O-US/ISra*l-backed PKK-led Kurdish TERRORIST Occupation and GENOCIDE of Syria-Iraq’s Indigenous no-Kurdish Sunni-Shia Muslims/ORTHODOX Catholics.
    See also at –
    Raqqa Raped and Destroyed, Not Liberated
    By Stephen Lendman
    Global Research, October 19, 2017.

  • nooraza othman

    Another fundamental great ancient river system is the Orontes River and Valley (and their main tributaries and branches), the Chief River of the Levant; that flows from the Hatay Province and from the Nur (Amanos) Mountain range (which is in parallel with the Gulf of İskenderun), in Turkey, and into the Samandag city of Turkey, by the Mediterranean Sea, and into Syria and Lebanon.

    Look at the Syrian and Turkish maps (many maps are deceiving and would not show in detail the brances and tributaries) and we can see that most of the cities conquered by the rogue and most evil NA*O-US/ISra*l-backed PKK-led Kurdish terrorist OCCUPPIERS, mass murderers, drug gangs, rapists, land/property robbers and child-soldier traffickers and all its branches, SDF/YPG/PYD/KDP/KRG/Peshmerga/PJAK (Iranian Kurdish TERRORISTS) – are by the Orontes River (and its
    branches and tributaries) and Valley, especially Homs, Larissa, Idlib and Afrin, next to the Nur Mountains in Hatay Province (which is why the Aleppo Plateau that lies within the Aleppo Governorate and Idlib Governorate, as bordered by the Euphrates-Orontes River tributaries/branches, is important since it is also next to the Hatay Province in Turkey). And now the Kurdish terrorists have overtaken Latakia in Syria, by the Mediterranean Sea.

    So, this is grave danger for Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria, Turkey; Iraq and Iran, since NA*O-US/ISra’l’s ultra deep-sea/river Nuclear Submarines can smuggle weapons and terrorists, including chemical and Nuclear ones, easily to/from the Mediterranean Sea to/from the great ancient Orontes-Euphrates-Tigris River systems and Valleys!