Islamist-Held Raqqa a Bellwether for Syria’s Rebellion

Islamist-Held Raqqa a Bellwether for Syria’s Rebellion

RAQQA, Syria — This dusty, nondescript provincial capital in eastern Syria has all the hallmarks of a city recently captured by rebel forces. A statue of former President Hafez Assad has been pulled down from its plinth, its lips painted red and a pair of horns fixed to its head. Nearby, houses have been reduced to rubble by government air raids, while many that remain standing are pockmarked by small-arms and heavy-weapons fire. One feature, however, sets Raqqa apart from other towns captured by Syria’s rebels: The Syrian rebellion’s traditional flag — green, white and black with three red stars, […]

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