300,000 civilians trapped in ISIS ‘capital’ Raqqa forced to dress as militants and dig trenches
ISIS is using 300,000 civilians as human shields as enemy forces bear down on its capital in northern Syria.
Men living in Raqqa are being forced to wear the baggy pants and long shirts worn by the terror group, making it difficult to pick them apart from militants.
And landmines and checkpoints have been laid out around the city to prevent people from escaping.
ISIS ‘spies’ mingle among the civilian population, and two people were reportedly executed recently for allegedly contacting US-backed forces seeking to liberate the city.
Raqqa’s citizens are being made to dig trenches and stack trenches to defend the city, and children have stopped attending school.
Enormous tarps have been stretched across huge sections of the city to hide ISIS activities from planes and satellites above them.
The city, declared the capital of the ISIS caliphate, was captured by the fundamentalists in January 2014, when militants carried out mass executions of its enemies and destroyed Shia mosques and Christian churches.
People living inside the city have told Associated Press that leaflets dropped by coalition warplanes give confusing directions about where people should head to escape.
On Sunday, using mosque loudspeakers, ISIS announced that US strikes had hit a dam in the west, prompting widespread panic.
The population was told to flee imminent flooding, and thousands heeded the warning. They were allowed into ISIS-controlled countryside, as long as they left their possessions behind.
Hours later they were told it was a false alarm. An activist in touch with people inside the city said: ‘The people really don’t know where to go.’
The activist said people in the city are caught between airstrikes, landmines and ISIS fighters mingling among civilians.
Sources inside Raqqa, and with knowledge of the city, say the only internet access is from a number of approved cafes, where patrons must give their name and address and endure spot checks by ISIS thugs.
Source: /Daily Mail