On Saturday 12 December at 2.30pm people will hold a peace vigil at the war memorial in Broadstairs to show their opposition to the bombing in Syria. The following was written by one of those taking part.
The idea of bombing Syria is to destroy ISIS, but will it work?
In November the French government said 30 of their air strikes destroyed an ISIS training camp and munitions dump in Raqqa in Syria.
But a media activist in Raqqa said that the French air strikes hadn’t touched ISIS.
“It has been two insane nights,” he said. “People are horrified and everyone here lives in fear.”
He said that in the past few days Russian air strikes had caused the most destruction.
“Last week, Russian air strikes destroyed one of the main bridges in the city in addition to the national hospital. Most hospitals in the city have been destroyed in Raqqa,” he said.
“The US, Russia and France are all bombing Syria. How many more countries want to bomb us?
“Raqqa is devastated. Raqqa has endured the unbearable and we live in fear under ISIS’s dictatorship.
“Not everyone who lives in Raqqa approves of ISIS. I am a citizen of Raqqa and I refused to leave my hometown just like many others did.
“What the world needs to know is that we live under ISIS control on the ground, and constant air strikes from the sky. We are trapped,” he said.
In December, on the eve of the vote in Parliament on bombing Syria, the Observer newspaper spoke to Raqqan exiles in Turkey.
Most of them feared that more bombing would cost more innocent lives in their city.
Many were baffled and frustrated that the city’s fate was being decided in distant capitals and conference rooms where the people of Raqqa have no presence or a voice.
The Syrian activists known as Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently said: “We are against the UK strikes on Raqqa; all the world is bombing Raqqa; UK will not make any change in the situation Syria. If UK want to help people then they should accepts Syrian refugees in their country and not close the border.”
The UK-based monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the number of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes in Syria already at close to 400 since September 2014.
The number of Syrian civilians killed by Russian warplanes is at least twice that figure.
Just on Tuesday of this week (Dec 8) the Syrian Observatory received reports that 26 people,including 7 children and 4 women, were killed in Syria by Coalition airstrikes.
Many others were wounded and the number of the dead is likely to rise.
There is an estimated 500,000 people in the Raqqa, and one million people in Raqqa province, including almost 150,000 children.