Beirut – The liberation of the Syrian city of Raqqa from the ISIS terrorist group does not mean the end of humanitarian suffering in the region, warned Save the Children on Tuesday.
It instead said that the situation is in fact escalating.
“The military offensive in Raqqa may be coming to an end, but the humanitarian crisis is greater than ever,” the aid group’s Syria director Sonia Khush said in a statement.
The Syrian Democratic Forces announced on Tuesday that the city has been liberated from ISIS after a four-month military campaign.
Save the Children warned that “some 270,000 people who have fled the Raqqa fighting are still in critical need of aid, and camps are bursting at the seams.”
It said that most Raqqa families had no homes to go back to and that thousands of civilians were still being displaced in the eastern Deir al-Zour province, where fighting was still raging.
The aid group said that the reconstruction effort would require massive investment and that funding would also be needed to bring children back to school.
“Many are plagued by nightmares from witnessing horrific violence and will need extensive psychological support,” the aid group said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights meanwhile announced that 3,250 people, including some 1,130 civilians, were killed in the campaign to liberate Raqqa that began in June.
Director of the rights group, Rami Abdul Rahman, stressed that there are hundreds of people missing and they are likely stuck under the rubble in the city that has witnessed heavy destruction in the months-long offensive.