Fake News? US-backed Forces Blast Through 8th Century Syrian Wall to Fight ISIS

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By Karin Brothers; Originally appeared at GlobalResearch

ISIS’s last holdout in Syria is in Raqqa; its forces have been backed into an ancient wall that surrounds the old city of Raqqa on three sides. The Rafiqah Wall, first constructed in the 8th century by the Abbasid dynasty, is reported to be over 12 feet high, over a meter thick and stretches over 3 miles around the old city.

Fake News? US-backed Forces Blast Through 8th Century Syrian Wall to Fight ISIS

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While the wall had been described as an important fortification for ISIS, the advancement of Syrian troops made the wall a trap that could have allowed the ISIS fighters to be completely wiped out. According to a July 3, 2017 TIME article(1), ISIS fighters had taken positions there “to defend the city [sic]” and planted explosive devices at what the article described as “breaks in the wall.” Under the circumstances, the point to planting explosive devices in the wall would only have been to create escape routes. It was apparent from the next day’s news, however, that the “breaks in the wall” were not adequate for escape.

The US-backed forces, fronted by the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)”, appeared to come to ISIS’s rescue. On the night of July 3rd, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), claimed that SDF had “found a way” through the historic wall at “the most heavily-fortified portion of Raqqa”; two 25 meter-long breaches had been blasted through it. Laughably, the article claimed that the two “small” — almost 100-foot — gaps “will help preserve the remainder of the overall 2,500-meter wall”: now US-backed forces might not need to totally demolish the 1300-year old wall.

While Brett McGurk, described as the US envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition, tweeted that the operation was “a key milestone” in the campaign to “liberate the city”, it is evident what was really being liberated.

Karin Brothers is a freelance writer.

Note

1) Hincks Joseph U.S.-Backed Troops Breach the Perimeter of ISIS’ Last Bastion in Syria Jul 03, 2017
http://time.com/4844317/raqqa-syria-isis-wall/

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  • Kell

    Syrian troops?
    Does she mean the SAA?

    • Wahid Algiers

      Women and themes they do not understand but involve.

      • Russell A Wilson

        Very good description of US foreign policy.

    • Ronald

      SDF , that is Syrian Kurdish and Arab Sunni’s .

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      They meant the Foreign Snake Army , All Hail Hydra !

  • dutchnational

    This a fabricated story mashing fake facts and correct items into a distorted fabrication.

    There were no breaks in the wall initially. There were gates, you know, the breaks in a wall that everybody uses to get into and out of a city. Those were heavily fortified by IS as part of their defensive lines of the old city, something that any capable commander, of whatever force, would do.

    Storming the most fortified positions is military madness, even more so when there are alternatives.

    SDF and US took an alternative. Instead of blowing wide gaps all over the perimeter of the wall, they blew out in two (or maybe three) places a gap of some 30 meters in the wall, to make entrances for the SDF to enter the old city. Photo’s of those gaps are online.

    Calling SDF fighters attacking IS in the old city, as part of their assault on Raqqah, “coming to the rescue of IS”, is like saying PKK fights Turkey to rescue Erdogan.

    Karin, shame on you.

    • Barba_Papa

      Also, where would these ISIS fighters go to? Raqqa is surrounded on all sides by the SDF. Unless specifically given a free pass, in which case no blowing up of the wall was necessary, any ISIS fighter trying to leave would get captured or killed. Most likely the latter as nobody seems to want to let these guys live.

      • dutchnational

        In your reasoning, to which I agree, this is an indication that up to this moment a free pass was either not offered or not accepted.

        • Barba_Papa

          Well, until the SDF took the southbank of the Euphrates ISIS was pretty much left with a corridor for escape. Does that count as a free pass? I’m sure Damascus and Moscow interpreted that as such.

          • dutchnational

            It was exactly how all parties within Syria act. In several cities, incl Aleppo, rebels got a free pass from the SAA. SAA even has a name for it : reconciliation process. Turkey even paid IS to leave Al Bab.

            Everybody prefers opposition forces elsewhere and I presume that also goes for the SDF.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            The US paid for most of ISIS to leave Raqqa and even guaranteed their escape and even did the same thing in Mosul providing even more communications jamming whenever they allow large convoys of ISIS to leave . Just as they jammed the SyaaF pilot who seen more convoys leaving Raqqa on the Euphrates south side .

            Stop being a hypocrite , they negotiated afterwards where as the US bribes from the out set and stages battles for the Kurds in the towns after bribing ISIS to leave. .

      • EL ZORRO

        SDF and I.S.I.S are INTERNATIONAL MERCENARIES of the UNITED SNAKE COALITION, created, funded, trained and armed by them; and they are in cahoots with the COALITIONS OF THE SNAKES and the COALITION of the SNAKE don’t give a damn when they have to kill some of their MERCENARIES for TACTICAL AND POLITICAL EXPEDIENT, those INTERNATIONAL MERCENARIES are EXPENDABLES, walking dead corpses.

        • Störtebembel

          Typing in CAPITALS makes nothing better or more true…
          SDF are just the guys who lived there befor IS fell in. They just defend or recapture their homeland (No! SDF in Raqqa isn´t kurdish!)
          Go kiss some body parts of your favourite dictators.
          ;-)

    • John Whitehot

      this is pretextous.

      They blasted through the wall, and the article never said that they demolished it.
      It even says that the gaps are 25 meters wide, while you state that they are 30 meters wide.

      In the end, the wall has been heavily damaged, and the statement of the US CENTCOM is absolutely ludicrous, since they are claiming that blasting 30 meters wide gaps in a wall will reinforce it.

      • dutchnational

        Well, I am not there so whether it is 25 of 30 meters, I do not really care.

        Nor do I care about Centcom statements. I read it as meaning to say they took care not to destroy the wall, Syrian Heritage, but only to damage it, which was unavoidable in case of an assault on the city.

        However, feel free to make of what you want.

        • John Whitehot

          “Nor do I care about Centcom statements”

          I see, you seem to care much more about condemning articles that ridicule those statements.

  • Jens Holm

    News to me Syrian troops should be there.

    I agree we have a lack of information, but I dont think the Karin Brothers fit well.

    We will see. Its not impossible words from the socalled journalist.

  • John Whitehot

    maybe somebody should blast a 30 meter hole in the walls of the CENTCOM Commander-in-Chief.

    “Sir, It’s for your safety Sir, with this gap the walls of your house will be much stronger”.

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      • John Whitehot

        why is this fuming pile of shit allowed on this site?

  • FlorianGeyer

    I wonder when the ISIS terrorists will be spirited out of Raqqa to murder elsewhere in Syria?
    The Saudi’s fund ISIS.
    The US is in bed with the Saudi’s.
    Money is the God of the US.

    • gustavo

      USA-OTAN-israel created ISIS-Daesh and anexas terrorists groups, and Saudis are just helping these nations.

    • Störtebembel

      Oh yeah, good old conspiricy stuff as usual… but remember:
      The real Florian Geyer would have never been in bed with the SS!
      ;-)

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    SDF=ISIS=USA/NATO and Turkey plus Saudi salmond fish.

    • EL ZORRO

      You forgot ISRAHELL.

    • Störtebembel

      What about the Hindu-Schinto-Konfuzianien&Sikk-Conspiricy?
      I think they are the real bad guys behind all this…

  • chris chuba

    Funny, the aspect of destroying a cultural heritage was not even mentioned in the FOX / CNN reporting.

    I guess you do what you have to do when fighting a battle but one could at least acknowledge that it’s a pity to destroy even a portion of an 8th century wall. Would we be so sanguine if ‘part’ of the western wall at Jerusalem was destroyed for whatever reason? It was just reported as a brilliant military tactic and nothing more.

    • Störtebembel

      Cultural sides, in this case small parts of it, are more important than fighting faschists???
      Look at Sur in Amed if you want to complain about destroying cultural sides and genocide.

  • Ted

    Really, this is pathetic on so many levels. Its not befitting the attention the tin foil hatters have given it in the comments section, but they tend to bite on anything these days no matter how absurd.
    The scary thing here is that ISIS which has caused so much trouble could simply have been stopped by building a 12 foot wall. I would venture to guess this to was an american zio nazi plot to ensure no concrete could be had in Syria to build such a insurmountable barrier as a 12 foot wall. Putin should have sent a shit load of brick layers in place of weapons? The idea that anyone is to believe that the United States saved ISIS by knocking down a 12 foot wall.. ? Is this really a story? I am able to assume by its title “fake” implies every word within. Whats next for the Southfront site? We going to read about Kim Jung finding the unicorn?