Russia Blames U.S.-Led Coalition For Wiping Syria's Raqqa ‘Off The Face Of The Earth’

On Sunday, Russia’s Defense Military blamed the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-led coalition, for completely destroying Raqqa, the Syrian city ISIS considered its capital.

“Raqqa has inherited the fate of Dresden in 1945, wiped off the face of the earth by Anglo-American bombardments,” said Major-General Igor Konashenkov, chief spokesman for the Russian agency, according to The Hill.

Konashenkov’s World War II reference points to the bombing attack by British and American troops on Dresden, German, which is thought to have killed up to 25,000 people. 

He went on to explain that the conflict has wiped out more than half of Raqqa’s population. Previously, 200,000 people lived in the city, but the population has dwindled to 45,000 or fewer, Konashenkov said in a statement according to Reuters.

His comments came shortly after the U.S.-backed militia group proclaimed victory over the city on Friday.

“We proudly announce today from the heart of the city of Raqqa the victory of our forces in the major battle to defeat the ISIS terror organization, which we defeated in the capital of its alleged caliphate," the Syrian Democratic Forces noted in a statement.

10_22_Syria A picture shows heavily damaged buildings in Raqa on October 21, 2017, after a Kurdish-led force expelled Islamic State (IS) group fighters from the northern Syrian city. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces officially announced Raqa's capture at a ceremony in the city's stadium on October 20 but said mines left behind by IS made it too dangerous for residents to return home. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Konashenkov went on to question why the U.S. was suddenly in a rush to provide financial aid for the devastated city.

"There's only one explanation - the desire to cover up evidence of the barbaric bombardments by the U.S. air force and the coalition as fast as possible and to bury the thousands of civilians 'liberated' from Islamic State in the ruins,” he said.

Now that Raqqa is reclaimed, the U.S. will now move on to help "local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace, so that the terrorists cannot return to threaten our collective security again,” President Donald Trump said in a statement on Saturday.

Trump applauded the efforts of the servicemen and women, noting that there's been “more progress against these evil terrorists in the past several months than in the past several years."

Although the militia group has said it strives to have “zero civilian casualties,” at least 1,000 residents in Raqqa have been killed, local activists and international monitors said, according to The New York Times. An additional 270,000 people have been forced out of their homes due to the ongoing conflict.

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