In Raqqa, Largest City Held By Syrian Rebels, Islamists Provide Electricity, Bread, And Order -- McClatchy News
RAQQA, Syria — The sounds of battle can still be heard nearby and residents remain fearful that the government will attack with airstrikes and missiles. But Abdul Hakim Mohamed, the vice president of the local civil council in the largest Syrian city so far to fall to rebel control is optimistic about the future, though what that future will be is uncertain.
“Raqqa is a shining example of what can happen,” he said.
Rebels took just three days to seize Raqqa earlier this month, sparing it the level of destruction that has marked other places where insurgents have challenged government forces. The rebel groups that seized the city – the same Islamist fundamentalists who’ve been responsible for most rebel victories of recent months – appear to have prevented looting, spray-painting warnings to would-be thieves on shop shutters.
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My Comment: As symbols go .... the rebel victory in Raqqa is a huge win. If the liberation of Raqqa means stability and the provision of goods and services .... this rebel victory will only be amplified. On a side note .... the Syrian military's inability to strike back tells me that are now significantly degraded in this part of Syria to take on the rebels .... another clear sign that they are slowly losing in this conflict.