17:19 GMT +319 June 2018
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    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter walks near vehicles carrying people fleeing clashes in Tweila'a village and Haydarat area, north of Raqqa city, Syria November 8, 2016

    Raqqa Civilian Assembly Vows to Take Government of City Into Own Hands

    © REUTERS / Rodi Said
    Middle East
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    On Tuesday, the Raqqa Civilian Assembly held its Inaugural Meeting in the town of Ayn Isa with the motto "Peoples' Fraternity and Co-existence is the Assurance of Democratic Nation." Sputnik Turkey talked to the co-chair of the Assembly, Leyla Mustafa.

    After nine months of preparations, the Inaugural Meeting of the Raqqa Civilian Assembly got underway in the town of Ayn Isa in the north of the Syrian Raqqa Governorate on Tuesday.  The motto of the meeting was "Peoples' Fraternity and Co-existence is the Assurance of a Democratic Nation."

    Leyla Mustafa and Şex Mehmud Şewax El-Bersan were elected co-chairs of the Raqqa Civilian Assembly, and 14 operating committees covering all aspects of life in the city, from women's affairs, education and energy to keeping the water and sewage system running."

    Sputnik Turkey talked to the co-chair of the Assembly, Leyla Mustafa, who said that the Assembly intends to take Raqqa under its governance after the city is liberated from Daesh.

    "The operation to liberate Raqqa was started in November 2016. During the assault, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated a number of settlements. They are currently fighting for the city of Tabqa and the Tabqa Dam," she told Sputnik.

    The Civilian Assembly, she said, was set up to govern the territories which have been liberated from Daesh. Its role is to serve the needs of the local people and allow the population of Raqqa to make independent decisions of the governance of its territory.

    The importance of creating the institution, she said, is that it was done upon the wish of the local residents. The people are ready to govern their own city, she said.

    The 14 committees which were formed at the Establishment Meeting will try to improve the living conditions, such as electricity, water supplies and dealing with refugees.

    Mustafa said that there are 14 female members at the Assembly and all the social groups of the area have their own representative. There are representatives of Arab, Syrian Turkmen and Kurdish tribes.

    "When Raqqa is liberated we will move there and will operate on the territory of the city.  The structure of the Assembly will be expanded. The SDF are continuing their military operation. It is still unknown when will be the end, but they hand over the territories which they liberate into our governance. We are currently present in all the settlements they liberated, " she said.

    Syria, Raqqa
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