Amnesty International launched an interactive website documenting the military operation of the international coalition – led by the United States – in Raqqa, Syria, against ISIS, before the third anniversary of the end of the military attack on it, on 17 October 2017.
The interactive website “The War in Raqqa: Between Claim and Reality,” displays 360-degree images, videos, personal stories, satellite photos and maps, to document the reckless bombing campaign that killed and injured thousands of civilians and destroyed most of the city between June and October 2017.
The site allows visitors to learn about the devastating impact of thousands of American, British and French air strikes, and tens of thousands of American artillery attacks, on civilians trapped in Raqqa during the war.
“On the ground in Raqqa, we have witnessed a level of devastation comparable to anything we have seen throughout decades of war coverage,” said Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Advisor at Amnesty International, and lead investigator on the events in Raqqa.
She indicated that this innovative site clarifies to users the reality of the military operation and the bombing campaign, gives a voice to the families stranded in the city, and reviews in detail the devastating effects of the bombing.
According to the organization, the US-led coalition has claimed responsibility for only a small percentage of the civilian deaths in Raqqa, and has so far not conducted any field investigation in the city. Conversely, Amnesty International investigators spent months in Raqqa, surveying more than 200 sites that had been bombed, collecting physical evidence, and interviewing more than 400 witnesses and survivors.
During the bombing, which lasted 4 months, and caused the death of more than 1,600 civilians, about 80% of the city of Raqqa was uninhabited, and it is widely considered the most devastated city in the modern era, according to the organization.