Damascus claims that any operation on Syrian territory that is not coordinated with the Syrian government, including the Kurdish operation on liberation of Raqqa, is a threat to the national sovereignty.
Russia and Syria insist on a need to coordinate any military operations on Syrian territory with the government in Damascus, including the operation on liberation of Raqqa from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, earlier announced by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), consisting mainly of Kurdish units. Damascus completely rejects the SDF operation in Raqqa and considers it as a threat to the national sovereignty, the Izvestiya newspaper reported, citing a deputy of the Syrian parliament, Jamal Rabia.
“Any operation that is not authorized by the Syrian leadership and goes beyond actions of the country’s army is illegal. This also applies to the operation of the SDF, backed by the US. Damascus considers it as an attack on the national sovereignty because it is convinced that a director of this performance is the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency],” Rabia told Izvestiya.
At the same time, he stressed that the Syrian government supports any actions of Kurds and ‘foreign players’ to combat terrorism upon condition that these actions are agreed with the Syrian leadership. Rabia also noted that in the majority, these operations pursue completely other purposes.
“If we talk about the SDF, trying to seize Raqqa, they [Kurds] try to make another step toward federalization of Syria, but people of the country completely reject this idea,” the Syrian deputy said.
The SDF announced the beginning of the operation to liberate Raqqa, which is considered the capital of the IS in Syria, on November 6. The operation was called Euphrates Wrath. Command of military actions is going to be conducted by the Coordination Council.
The SDF called on foreign forces to take part in the operation, providing logistic, military and moral support, as well as pointed out that international humanitarian and human rights organizations should “fulfill its commitments and save Raqqa from terrorists.” Reportedly, the US air power will support Kurdish units during their offensive on the city.
As the AFP news agency reported, citing its own source in the US administration, it is planned that Raqqa will be surrounded at the first stage of the operation in order to isolate the city to prepare for the main attack.
Earlier, in May, Kurds have already announced their intentions to liberate the city from terrorists. During several days, they managed to dislodge militants from a number of settlements, located near the city, and advance a few kilometers to Raqqa. But their military successes ended with this. However, already at that time, the SDF indicated its intention to include Raqqa in the Kurdish federal region.
“Since the assault of Raqqa is carried out by the SDF, it is logical that after its capture, it [the city of Raqqa] will be a part of the democratic federal system, created by us in the north of Syria,” a representative of the SDF, Jihan Ehemed, said in May of this year.