Raqqa
Aftermath of the bombardment in central RaqqaZaid al-Fares

Since the Islamic state took control over the northern Syrian city of Raqqa in the north of Syria on 8 January 2014, Bashar al-Assad's regime has committed several massacres against civilians and presented them to both the Western and Arab worlds under the pretense that they are fighting terrorists. Well, it is widely known here that Assad's troops have not killed any Isis soldiers; all they have done is kill innocent people.

The latest bombardment of Raqqa comprised more than 15 separate raids. On the first day they targeted the crowded streets of the city, including Tal Abaid, or White Hill street; these thoroughfares are always busy, and they are not IS strongholds. The warplanes blitzed this street with eight consecutive raids, hitting bakeries, mosques and civilian homes. The result was, simply, a slaughter of civilians.

More than 70 people died and 15 were wounded, according to local activists. Tal Abaid was filled with charred corpses that no-one could identify in the freezers of Raqqa hospitals; the street was forced to shut down completely because of the number of burnt-out cars and blackened bodies.

Raqqa bombardment
Bombed-out cars lie abandoned in the rubbleZaid al-Fares

On the second day the Syrian regime continued bombing the city and the countryside with six raids which included both the city centre and the surrounding towns of Ma'daan and al-Taqba. These raids succeeded in killing four children and wounding a further 15 civilians.

Assad's men even continued into a third day, bombing a mosque in Al-Mansour Street and the homes that are located next to it. Three houses literally fell on the heads of their inhabitants, injuring five children while killing a woman and child.

The bombing took place decide the regime knowing full well that American reconnaissance planes were watching; the recon craft were hovering for three full days, and could not have missed the raids.

Raqqa bombardment 3
Drones clearly visible in the sky above RaqqaUnited Media Center of Raqqa

Mohammed al-Ahmad, a 24-year-old activist from Raqqa city, said: "Syrian aviation has intensified shelling under the pretext that it is fighting against Islamist extremists. The raiders killed dozens of women, children and men, just because they are the sons of the city.

"The Syrian regime is trying to take revenge on the people of Raqqa and brutally kill them, with the knowledge they are not IS nor any other rebels; they are just ordinary civilians trying to live in peace. But whereas IS hounded them under the pretext of being "infidels" or "apostates," the Syrian regime kills them under the pretext of "terrorists".

Mohammed adds that many bodies have never been found simply because they were cut to pieces by scrap metal. Furthermore, a lot of wounded people died because of the lack of simple medical materials, because the National Hospital in Raqqa does not work properly. The activists have tried to contact several medical organisations, as well as the coalition of Syrian opposition groups, but to no avail.

All this begs the question: is the Syrian opposition's failure to rescue Raqqa deliberate? And why does the American government see what is happening in Raqqa, and yet do nothing?

These questions must be answered: there are humans in Raqqa being killed by Isis, and humans in Raqq being killed by the regime. And whichever they die, they face torture and indescribable pain.