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By treaty, it was recognized as one of the few official cross-border trading posts between the two empires, along with Nisibis and Artaxata.

The town was near the site of a battle in 531 between Romans and Sasanians, when the latter tried to invade the Roman territories, this time surprisingly via arid regions in Syria, to turn the tide of the Iberian War.

Raqqa lay on the crossroads between Syria and Iraq and the road between Damascus, Palmyra, and the temporary seat of the caliphate Resafa, al-Ruha'.

Between 771 and 772, the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur built a garrison city about 200 metres to the west of Raqqa for a detachment of his Khorasanian Persian army. The strength of the Abbasid imperial military is still visible in the impressive city wall of al-Rāfiqah.

It is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the Tabqa Dam, Syria's largest dam.

The Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine city and bishopric Callinicum (formerly a Latin—and now a Maronite Catholic titular see) was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate between 796 and 809, under the reign of Harun al-Rashid.

Most non-Sunni religious structures in the city were destroyed by ISIL, most notably the Shi'ite Uwais al-Qarni Mosque, while others have been forcefully converted into mosques.

On 17 October 2017, following a lengthy battle that saw massive destruction to the city, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared the liberation of Raqqa from ISIL to be complete.

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Approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of Raqqa lay the unfinished victory monument called Heraqla from the period of Harun al-Rashid.Raqqa and al-Rāfiqah merged into one urban complex, together larger than the former Umayyad capital Damascus.In 796, the caliph Harun al-Rashid chose Raqqa/al-Rafiqah as his imperial residence.The Persians won the battle, but the casualties on both sides were high.In 542, the city was destroyed by the Persian ruler Khusrau I (r.

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