On Thursday, the Raqqa Civil Council met with officials from the US Department of State in Ayn Issa town in the northern Raqqa countryside.
According to Kurdish sources, the meeting was attended by Alex Starr from the US Department of State and Marvie McCloy, an explosives expert.
— EndiZentarmi ✌ (@EndiZentarmi) 20 July 2017
According to a statement of the Raqqa Civil Council, the two sides discussed the reconstruction of the city including bridges and roads, and the restoration of public services such as water and electricity in Raqqa.
Omar Alloush, one of the council’s advisors, said to Arab 24 News website:
“The delegation is specialized in demining the city of Raqqa and providing relief. We welcomed them as their visit to Raqqa Council is a recognition of the council, which represents the people of Raqqa, by the US State Department. And they are dependent on the efforts of the council which will manage the affairs of Raqqa after liberation as well.”
Some experts also believe that the US delegation visit can be regarded as a semi-official recognition of the Raqqa Civil Council by the United States.
“We want to know the citizen’s ability to get rid of explosives. This is what we will work on first,” Marvie McCloy told the Arab 24 TV media outlet and added: “We need to gather information from officials in Raqqa. We have limited support and we must be careful about dealing with mines, and we are here to coordinate together.”
It’s worth mentioning that the council stays under great criticism by the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition as it was formed by Kurdish parties, and includes a large percentage of Kurds who are considered a very small part of the community of Raqqa. Many describe the council as just a tool of Kurdish influence in Raqqa.