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Arabs, a majority of the region's population, had little to do with Daesh's ouster.Activists from Raqqa have long referred to our dilapidated city as an "internal colony," owing to its long history of economic, political and social marginalization at the hands of Syrian governments. Returning to Raqqa then, after 16 years behind bars, I was struck by what Assad's regime – 26 years in power at that time – had done to my city.Raqqa was in rapid decline by then, and the city's despair would intensify over the next decade.Worse, after a military operation that destroyed 90 percent of the city and killed some 1,800 residents, the city's new rulers have not even begun to remove the bodies buried beneath the rubble.What is different this time is the seemingly inevitable march toward ethnic conflict. The city's previous victims are its latest victims as well. Raqqa's "liberation" is not ours. Daesh has served as the ideal monster for many colonial occupiers eager to appear less villainous than they are.
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