The city of Raqqa, in Syria, had been declared by ISIS as its capital. It has, now, been liberated by US-led coalition troops who hoisted a flag in the public square that was used by the terror group to carry out beheadings. The battle for the liberation of the city had been going on for four months, and the all-clear was given after it was declared free of landmines as well as ISIS sleeper cells.

The loss of this city is a major setback for ISIS. The advancing US-led troops had cornered them and pushed most of the militants into a strip of the Euphrates valley.

A spokesman for the coalition has confirmed that the city is practically free of militants, but there could still be a few in hiding. Search is on to locate, and take them into custody.

The fall of Raqqa

Daily Mail UK reports that ISIS had taken over Raqqa in 2014, and identified it as the de facto capital of their self-styled caliphate. US-led coalition troops with SDF fighters had started the takeover operations after a large section of the terrorists surrendered. Subsequently, they carried out combing operations to clear out the landmines along with any extremist sleeper cells. It is suspected that some of the militants might be holed up in the city's stadium.

ISIS was using the city hospital as its headquarters as well as a hospital, and Kurdish-led forces are believed to have taken control over it.

According to Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the US-led coalition, the retaking of Raqqa means ISIS has lost its base. It was from here that it used to plan its terror activities.

To mark the occasion, SDF fighters hoisted a flag in Al-Naim (Paradise) Square which was used by the militants as the venue of their horrific executions.

Need of humanitarian aid

Save the Children; an international charity group has revealed that thousands of people who have fled Raqqa are in need of different types of aid. Temporary shelters that are available are inadequate. While life is coming back to normal, there is a shortage of basic amenities like food, medicines and drinking water.

The US-led coalition troops have driven out the ISIS to liberate the city. It is now the responsibility of the government and the local administration to bring back normalcy to the lives of those who remain. It is, no doubt, a herculean task, and humanitarian aid groups must rise to the occasion to ensure that the residents of Raqqa can forget the past and begin life afresh.