CNN news 2017-05-31
CARL AZUZ, cnn 10 ANCHOR: With new satellite images, we're able to take you inside a repressed, dangerous city. It's our first story today on cnn 10 and we're glad you could watch.
Raqqa is located in northern Syria. Before that country's civil war broke out in 2011, more than 200,000 people live in Raqqa. We don't know how many are there now, largely because the city is controlled by ISIS, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The terrorist group took over in 2013 and declared Raqqa its capital.
Now, a battle is brewing to force ISIS out. The U.S. and its allies have been launching airstrikes against terrorist targets in Raqqa since 2014.
And coalition forces, who are supported by the U.S., have almost entirely surrounded the city. ISIS is expected to fight desperately to keep holding its self-declared capital.
So, what's it like inside Raqqa?
Satellite pictures provided to cnn give us an idea. They were taken on March 26th.
You can see apparent checkpoints outside what's believed to be ISIS headquarters and there are some damage there from what could have been an airstrike. Also visible nearby, a large shadow on the ground casts by an ISIS flag. Down the street, an old bridge in Raqqa has been cut off. It was likely disabled by a coalition airstrike.
And in another part of town, tarps cover a street market. They help hide the movements of ISIS fighters from coalition drones. An analyst says there doesn't appear to be much destruction from the airstrikes and that there are signs that daily life goes on in Raqqa. But for how long?
The battle is expected to begin in the coming weeks.