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After Islamic State, ruined Raqqa fears new strife

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FILE PHOTO: Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dance along a street in Raqqa, Syria October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro/File photo

RAQQA, Syria (Reuters) – The morning after Islamic State’s defeat in Raqqa, a local militia fighter stood in a square in the ruined, deserted city center. “There will be more problems here,” he said.

The 19-year-old, who gave his name as Moro, was one of few Raqqa natives to witness the aftermath of the battle for the Syrian city. Victory celebrations by Kurdish forces felt muted – there were no civilians left. It was the “liberation” of a ghost town.

“Daesh is to blame for this,” said Moro, an Arab who joined the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia alliance (SDF) to fight Islamic State, known pejoratively as Daesh, after fleeing Raqqa two years before.

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