A fighter of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands guard on a rooftop in Raqa on October 20, 2017, after retaking the city from Daesh fighters. AFP / BULENT KILIC
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"Special operations by the Caliphate's soldiers!" boasts a torn, blood-stained pamphlet at a bombed-out media kiosk in Syria's Raqqa, a symbol of Daesh's (ISIS) once fearsome propaganda machine. As well as serving as the Syrian capital of Daesh's "caliphate," Raqqa was the beating heart of much of its media output and was painstakingly portrayed as a militant paradise where Islamic law had finally been applied.Scattered across Raqqa are bluish-grey cement kiosks labeled "media points," where Daesh members would distribute printed publications on everything from their military conquests in Syria and Iraq, to guidelines for fasting and rules on women's wear.For years, Daesh has operated a sophisticated and multilingual media machine, complete with online magazines, radio broadcasts and social media campaigns highlighting its military prowess and gruesome tactics.Torn Daesh papers can be found on almost every damaged Raqqa street, providing clues to the behemoth administration that the militant organization once ran there.
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