Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces dance along a street in Raqqa, Syria October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
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The morning after the defeat of Daesh (ISIS) in Raqqa, a local militia fighter stood in a square in the ruined, deserted city center.Rebuilding Raqqa, which resembles wrecked cities like Aleppo and Homs, will take years, meaning long-term homelessness for many – an issue already fueling resentment against the forces that helped end Daesh's detested "caliphate".SDF supporters worry resentment will turn into unrest, pitting them against those who were more sympathetic to Daesh, or who oppose what is increasingly perceived as Kurdish control of the majority Arab city.The flags of the Kurdish YPG militia that spearheads the SDF were the first to fly above former Daesh strongholds in Raqqa. The SDF declared the city would become part of Kurdish-led autonomy plans for northern Syria.Fighters last week searched a former prison set up underneath Raqqa stadium.The few locals to see Raqqa after the expulsion of Daesh include SDF fighters and civilians who did not flee.The SDF did not immediately comment but says it fairly represents all ethnicities in areas it controls.
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