How did international news media cover the capture of Raqqa from ISIL?
Images that emerged from the city, of atrocities used as propaganda, have been some of the most gruesome and distressing media output to emerge from a war that continues to cause untold suffering.
When the Syrian Democratic Forces finally rolled into al-Naim Square, Western journalists travelling with them told a story of triumph and liberation.
The story that gets told, however, depends on who is telling it.
Consider the difference between how the fall of Raqqa has been covered, by various news organisations, compared with how they reported the fall of Aleppo 15 months ago.
Aleppo had been held by Syrian opposition forces, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front. Raqqa was in ISIL’s hands. The bombs dropped on Aleppo were Russian, clearing the way for Syrian government troops. Those targeting Raqqa were American, and the ground forces were led by Kurdish fighters.
A map of the Syrian civil war that shows who controls what after years of fighting.
War of All Against All | by Lindsey Hilsum
In mid-October of this year, ISIS was defeated in Raqqa by a predominantly Kurdish militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). In September I had gone with a TV team to see what remained of the city… nybooks.com
Lindsey Hilsum ✔@lindseyhilsum My first piece for @nybooks combines reviews of four books on Syria with my own reporting from Raqqa, Damascus and other cities. https://twitter.com/nybooks/status/926156398119018496 …