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This Happened

This Happened—November 6: Raqqa Offensive Begins

At the height of the Syrian Civil War, a group of forces came together to reclaim the northern region of Raqqa from the Islamic State. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who were largely comprised of Kurdish fighters, led the offensive.

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What was the Northern Raqqa Offensive?

​On November 6, the SDF captured six small villages: Wahid, Umm Safa, Wasita, Haran, al-Adriyah and Jurah, south and southeast of Ayn Issa. This cleared the path for the Kurdish fighters to take the rest of Raqqa.

Was the U.S. involved in defeating ISIS?

The offensive was launched in coordination with airstrikes in the area by the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. To avoid conflict between Kurdish ethnic groups and Raqqa's majority Arab population, U.S. special forces also trained more than 200 Arab fighters to take part in the offensive.

The coalition descended upon Raqqa, where they faced ISIL fighters who used human shields and dug tunnels to evade the SDF. ISIL’s fighters were overpowered by the 30,000 strong invasion force, and the SDF successfully liberated 23 villages and farms before the offensive was over.

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How Gen Z Is Breaking Europe's Eternal Alcohol Habit

Young people across Europe are drinking less, which is driving a boom in non-alcoholic alternatives, and the emergence of new, more complex markets.

photo of a beer half full on a bar

German beer, half-full?

Katarzyna Skiba

Updated Dec. 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

PARIS — From Irish whisky to French wine to German beer, Europe has long been known for alcohol consumption. Of the top 10 countries for drinking, nine are in the European Union, according to the World Health Organization.

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But that may be starting to change, especially among Gen Z Europeans, who are increasingly drinking less or opting out entirely, out of concern for their health or problematic alcohol use. A recent French study found the proportion of 17-year-olds who have never consumed alcohol has multiplied, from less than 5% to nearly 20% over the past two decades.

The alcohol-free trend is propping up new markets for low- or zero-alcoholic beverages, including in one of Europe’s beer capitals: Germany.

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