Raqqa

Raqqa (Arabic: ٱلرَّقَّة, romanized: ar-Raqqah, also Raqa, Rakka and ar-Raqqah) is a city in Syria on the northeast bank of the Euphrates River, about 160 kilometres (99 miles) east of Aleppo. It is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the Tabqa Dam, Syria's largest dam. The Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine city and bishopric Callinicum (formerly a Latin and now a Maronite Catholic titular see) was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate between 796 and 809, under the reign of Harun al-Rashid. It was also the capital of the Islamic State from 2014 to 2017. With a population of 531,952 based on the 2021 official census, Raqqa is the sixth largest city in Syria.[2]

Raqqa
ٱلرَّقَّة
Reqa
City
Raqqa
Location of Raqqa within Syria
Coordinates: 35°57′00″N 39°01′00″E
Country Syria
GovernorateRaqqa
DistrictRaqqa
SubdistrictRaqqa
Founded244–242 BC
Control Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria
Area
  City35 km2 (14 sq mi)
Elevation
245 m (804 ft)
Population
 (2019)
  City300,000[1]
  Pre-Civil War
City: 220,488 Nahiyah: 338,773[2]
Demonym(s)Arabic: رقاوي, romanized: Raqqawi
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
P-Code
C5710
Area code(s)22
GeocodeSY110100

During the Syrian Civil War, the city was captured in 2013 by the Syrian opposition and then by the Islamic State. ISIS made the city its capital in 2014.[3] As a result, the city was hit by airstrikes from the Syrian government, Russia, the United States, and several other countries. Most non-Sunni religious structures in the city were destroyed by ISIS, most notably the Shia Uwais al-Qarni Mosque, while others were converted into Sunni mosques. On 17 October 2017, following a lengthy battle that saw massive destruction to the city, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared the liberation of Raqqa from the Islamic State to be complete.[4]