Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, unload bottles of water in Raqqa on July 19, 2017, during an offensive by the SDF to retake the city from ISIS fighters. / AFP / BULENT KILIC
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On a day off from the Raqqa front line, Syrian fighter Iskandar was busy chopping up chicken and garlic cloves for a steaming pot of home-cooked mouloukhieh stew. He stirred the ingredients for the dish into a large pot perched atop a gas canister, set up in an abandoned home in the town of Jazra, a western suburb of Raqqa.After long stretches away from home, Iskandar and his comrades have grown nostalgic for a traditional meal.Typically, meals for fighters on the western front are prepared in the village of Hawi al-Hawa, less than 2 kilometers from Raqqa.The meals are usually made by a team of chefs the previous day so that they can be speedily delivered to hungry fighters on the front lines."Our forces are getting exhausted and they needed something to cool them down," said SDF fighter Mohieddine Mohammad, 38, as the machine produced blocks of ice.The blocks are transported to fighters closer to the front, who say they are indispensable.
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