Raqqa. Damage assessment

For visual analysis of destructions in Raqqa city, ALAFF used the terraserver.com website. A free version of the website was used, so the images contain watermarks, which, however, do not interfere with the perception of the images.

Files contain images ‘Before‘ (b/w) and ‘After‘ (color). ‘Before’ is the state of the Raqqa city as of October 2011. ‘After’ is the same as of October 2017. Here is how variants of the same image look on terraserver.com website (the site of the infamous «incident in Khan-Sheikhun» in Idlib province was taken as an example):

The overall image (Raqqa city) is divided into several large areas. In turn, these large areas are divided into sectors. The division into sectors is as follows:


Sector A1 is the upper left corner of image, sector H5 is the lower right corner. The image of the area, that unites all sectors (the compound of sectors), will be shown at the very bottom.

Both images — ‘Before’ and ‘After’ — show destructions visible to the eye.  These are only destructions that are noticeable/visible from a great height — i.e. these are fairly large destructions of objects (buildings, roads, structures etc). Naturally, the images do not show the destructions that can be seen only in the horizontal plane, that is, looking at the object from the side, not from above — this refers to the destroyed/damaged walls of buildings, broken windows, holes in the walls, traces of shells, bullets and other ammunition etc.

Comparisons of all objects are numbered. Click on the picture to see a larger image.


Descending: sectors A1 — H1:


Descending: sectors B2 — H2 (sector A2 is absent, because does not contain destructions):


Descending: sectors B3 — H3 (sector A3 is absent, because does not contain destructions):


Descending: sectors A4 — H4:


Descending: sectors B5 — H5 (sector A5 is absent, because does not contain destructions):


Just to remind, the sectors show only one large area of the overall image (Raqqa city). This large area of destructions (the compound of sectors) is as follows:



Despite the fact that such an analysis is a time-consuming process, ALAFF will continue to work on other large areas in order to combine them into a common single detailed image of destructions in the city of Raqqa, which was “liberated” by the so called US-led coalition. According to the results of this “liberation”, about 80% of the Raqqa city is no longer suitable for living — after all, a carpet bombing does not provide for such nuances as concern for minimizing civilian casualties. The “liberators” did not consider it necessary to demine the city, as a result of which the inhabitants of the city (those who survived) regularly become victims of the explosions of the remaining shells and mines. Thousands of dead bodies still (though a whole year have passed) are lying under the rubble, rotting and thus poisoning the soil and water. The long-suffering city was repeatedly bombed with white phosphorus bombs (banned weapons), moreover, the use of white phosphorus was not denied by the so-called coalition itself.

The international community has yet to give a legal assessment of the actions of the so-called US-led coalition in Syria. The illegality of the very presence (occupation of part of the territory of a sovereign state and military actions in there in violation of all international laws) of foreign forces, primarily the United States, in Syria can only aggravate this assessment. It is about serious war crimes. It was precisely complete impunity with regard to the actions of the American regime in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya that made possible the beginning of aggression against Syria. The criminal actions of the American regime in SAR will eventually have to receive a full-fledged legal assessment with all the ensuing consequences. This was done at the Nuremberg trial against the Nazi perpetrators. This must be done once again in relation to American criminals, if the current generation does not want to be ashamed before its descendants.


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