VOA: Civilians Flee IS De Facto Capital Ahead of Looming Battle
As the battle is nearing to recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa - the de facto capital of Islamic State - more civilians are reported fleeing their homes to seek safety in areas outside the control of the terror group.
Every day, dozens of local residents embark on a dangerous journey to get out of the city, and are paying large amounts of money to smugglers to facilitate their escape, according to local activists and military officials.
“Smugglers charge up to $700 for each individual who wants to flee the city,” said Hussam Eesa, a founding member of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group that reports on IS activities in Raqqa and elsewhere.
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Syrian War News Updates -- March 14, 2017
IS evacuates women and children from Syrian Raqqa -- Iraqi News
Syrian force says it has enough fighters to take Raqqa from IS -- Reuters
Syria conflict: Jets deliberately bombed Damascus spring - UN -- BBC
UN: Syria jets deliberately hit Damascus water supply -- Al Jazeera
Syria Committed War Crime by Bombing Damascus Water Supply: U.N. -- Reuters
Russian-backed Syria talks derailed as rebels boycott -- Reuters
New round of Syria peace talks opens without rebels -- AFP
Astana talks marred by Syrian armed opposition boycott -- Al Jazeera
Little hope for Syria peace talks in Astana after opposition stays away -- The National
Assad confirms readiness for referendum on Syria’s future -- TASS
Report accuses Syria of ‘slaughter’ of people trapped by war -- Washington Post/AP
In Syria, aid deliveries tail off to hundreds of thousands in need -- Washington Post
Report says Syria's government exploits UN's aid delivery system, depriving millions of assistance -- ABC News
Besieged Areas in Syria Get Aid for the First Time in Months -- AP
Aid convoys reach four besieged towns in Syria -- DW
Syria a 'torture-chamber', U.N. says in call to free detainees -- Reuters
UN Rights Chief Says Syria 'Worst Man-Made Disaster Since WWII' -- RFE
EU's Mogherini unveils plan for post-war Syria -- DW
Israel treats more than 2,600 wounded Syrians: army -- AFP
The 'slow-motion slaughter' of Syrian civilians -- Megan O'Toole, Al Jazeera
Using Social Media, Carter Center Maps Syria Conflict -- VOA
Russia Reported to Start Syrian Naval Base Expansion this Spring -- USNI News
US And Russian Troops Are Both In This Syrian City. What Could Go Wrong? -- Adam Weinstein, Task & Purpose
Syria under siege -- Al Jazeera
How Syria's civil war morphed into a struggle among global powers -- Jim Michaels , USA TODAY
Two sides to a conflict, with no end in sight -- Greg Sheridan, The Australian
Syria's civil war: Disturbing facts show cost of conflict -- USA Today