Raqqa and Gaza: A Tale of Two Cities

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The United States and its separatist proxy forces cruelly destroyed civilian infrastructure and occupied the city of Raqqa after capturing it from ISIL.

The unholy alliance misled the international community about its true intentions as it deliberately wiped the city of Raqqa off the face of the earth with carpet bombing. The occupiers are now doing everything they can to cover up evidence of their barbaric bombardments and crimes against humanity, including rushing to provide what they call financial aid to the devastated city. Before its occupation, around 300,000 people used to live in Raqqa, but now the number is just about 45,000.

It is not that hard to explore the devastation the occupiers have left behind. The information that has emerged so far sheds some interesting light on the Israeli war on Gaza in Summer 2014. In particular, the usurper regime – just like its American patron – utterly refutes the accusation by the United Nations and human rights groups – and much of the Western world – that Israel caused “appalling” and “excessive” destruction and Palestinian casualties.

Admittedly, the same level of criminality and barbarity has happened to Raqqa, where some  3,000 people were killed, including about 1,130 civilians, during the course of a four-month battle. In Gaza, according to UN figures, 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, were killed in the course of just 50 days. That isn’t nearly as far below Raqqa’s figures as the conflicts’ relative durations might lead one to expect.

But that simplistic conclusion ignores two crucial factors. The first is that a comparison of raw numbers is meaningless; the relevant comparison is casualties as a proportion of the population. And by that measure, Raqqa’s casualty rate exceeded Gaza’s by as much as 100 to one. Here’s the math:

According to numerous reports and Pentagon’s own estimation, Raqqa had a population of 300,000 when ISIL took it over. But after the organization began imposing a brutal reign of terror in 2014, tens of thousands of people fled, so the population was much lower when the battle to oust ISIL began… . More people fled once the battle started. Consequently, by the dwindling days of the group’s rule, only about 25,000 residents remained. In comparison, Gaza’s population in 2014 was around 1.79 million, according to official UN statistics.

In other words, those 3,000 casualties in Raqqa represented one percent of the city’s pre-ISIL population and a whopping 12 percent of its population as of early September. The casualties in Gaza, by contrast, represented about 0.12 percent of that territory’s population. Thus, as a proportion of the population, casualties in Raqqa are somewhere between 10 and 100 times higher than those in Gaza, and almost certainly much closer to the higher figure. That is an astronomical difference and criminal at best.

The same could be concluded about another critical factor: the effect of Raqqa’s more extensive property damage. Indeed, it’s a waste of time and effort to survey the damage caused by America’s barbaric bombardment. It proves similar to that in Gaza. Just like Gaza, in Raqqa it is hard to find a street or building that has not been damaged by the “appalling” and “excessive” bombardment.

On top of the 3,000 people killed in Raqqa, many others are missing. And many of the missing probably died and were buried under the endless rubble. They will be found many months or years later, if ever. Judging by the experience of the Palestinian city of Gaza, some may never be found. And that only if the United States and its NATO allies make good on their promises and send financial aid. The bitter experience in Gaza, however, is a reminder that when it comes to international accountability and financial aid for reconstruction, Washington and company are more talk than walk, even if this might help cover up their crimes.

In summation, comparing Raqqa to Gaza makes sense. The fact that many of the thousands who died in the fighting in Raqqa are still lying uncounted beneath the rubble means the city’s true death toll may never be known. The same was true in Gaza as well as many other cities in the region the United States helped to destroy. In Raqqa, the large number of bodies buried under destroyed buildings means the actual death toll is certainly much higher than the initial reports by the “liberators”.

After the deliberate destruction of Gaza, many Western leaders accused Israel of using excessive force, including former President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. If they really believe the accusations they hurled at Israel were true, they ought to turn themselves in as war criminals for what they did to Raqqa.

It is past time for the warmongers to finally admit that what they acknowledge in Syria and Iraq is equally true in Gaza. The US occupying forces and proxies are not in Syria to fight terrorist organizations. They are there to harm civilians and cause maximum destruction. If more proof is needed, the devastated city of Raqqa certainly provides it.

Source: www.iuvmpress.com

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