US-Backed Advance On Raqqah. What Is Going On?

Donate

Loading the player...

If you’re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfront

The US-baсked Syrian Democratic Forces, predominantly Kurdish YPG units, have been developing an advance in the eastern countryside of the ISIS self-proclaimed Syrian capital of Raqqah.

The decision to flank the ISIS stronghold from eastern direction followed a failed attempt of the US Special Forces and some SDF units to infiltrate the area of the strategic Tabqa dam. De-facto, this meant that the US-led forces were not able to achieve their strategic goal west of Raqqah. However, the SDF announced the end of the 2nd and the start of the 3rd stage of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates.

The goal of the 3rd stage is to further isolate the ISIS-held city, including seizing the road to Deir Ezzor. If the SDF captures the road, ISIS units in Deir Ezzor will be cut off from their allies in Raqqah. This will decrease significantly the terrorist group’s ability to redeploy reinforcements from one front to another. Nevertheless, this is under a big question. The US strategists are well known due to their will to keep open exit roads for ISIS terrorists in besieged cities in Syria and Iraq. If the road remains open, ISIS units will likely flow from Raqqah to Deir Ezzor, escalating confrontation with the Syrian army in the besieged city.

While the new US administration is considering a new plan of the Raqqah operation, SDF representative, Rojda Felat, has already claimed that the SDF will need more heavy military equipment, including battle tanks, to storm the city. In other words, the YPG wants to get more equipment to increase its military capabilities. But this doesn’t mean that the group will throw all what it has to storm Raqqah.

Indeed, the fate of Raqqah depends on the decision of the US administration on the issue. Earlier this month, Lieutenant General Jon Davis emphasized that the US would need not only additional airstrikes.

There are already between 300 and 500 US Special Forces troops and unknown number of French and German special forces. This number will likely be increased to retake the ISIS capital in Syria. It could indicate that the Pentagon is going to involve US and NATO forces during the operation, repeating the Mosul case. The real role of the SDF is now unclear. In any case, its goal will be to show that its “local Syrian forces” storm the ISIS stronghold.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • Tim Hadfield

    Desperate to continue Obama’s war.

    • Southern

      Israel granted the exploration license — Cheney, Rothschild and Murdoch have already started drilling inside Syria.

      Another example how the interests of the financial elite are placed above International laws by those that consider themselves exceptional and unaccountable.

  • Xanatos

    Turkey is not needed. The purpose for pentagon’s heavy investment in the kurds is to form a fighting force to invade iran. Syria is just a trial run. Turkey doesn’t want a strong kurdish nation on its southern border, especially not one tied to a kurdish liberation movement in turkey which they consider terrorists.

    Trump had a phone call with erdogan that prompted the cia director to immediately coordinate with turkey on fighting daesh. What does this mean for infighting in idlib, the return of fighting in latakia, the fighting with SAA near Bab, with the extradition Of Gullen, and with the kurdish-turkish standoff at manbij is anyone’s guess.

    But you can be sure of three things:
    Extradition of Gullen to turkey, if it happens under trump, will be a big deal for turkey because they don’t like working with russia or iran and turkey is desperate for a new ally. This extradition gives them an excuse to believe america was not part of the plot.
    Trump would like turkey’s help, or at least turkey’s neutrality, in the planned war with iran.
    Trump doesn’t need turkey to take raqqa and have his victory over isis. Turkey can focus on idlib.

    • abuqahwa

      Agree with last sentence, but Turkey might now focus on Afrin and Manbij districts.

      • Jens Holm

        Ha-ha. There are already 135.000 refugees in Afrin. The only unsafe are in that area are the Turks.

        Manbih is safe and relativly normal too. Its has a civil and a military counsil for governes, schools even has books again, 600 barefoot polices are hire by the counsil. Many refugees are there and stil commin from Raqqa to the empty houses. There is a new socalled safehouse for woman a.s.o.

        So buzz of. There are no turks to protect either. You cant even speak the language. Go home to Your own country and solve Your own problems.

        Those are in Your parlament and Constitusion – not in others countries.

        You even have them in writing from UN, EU, Amnesty and bunches of others. Go home and clean Your yourself. You smell, so You cant smell if others do.

    • PZIVJ1943

      I would think Kurds would have to take out Shia Iraq before moving on to Iran. LOL
      Gullen is a false flag

      • Jens Holm

        I agree. Its not realistic.

    • King_GeorgXIII

      Turkey is against Kurdistan Syria is against Kurdistan Iraq is against kurdistan and Iran is against Kurdistan! If the push for it they get gang banged big time!

      • Wally

        Turks are pushing for n independent Kurdish state in iraq. To mess with Iraq and Iran.

      • Jens Holm

        It has been like that since ww1, cant see any diffrence.

        Trump should invade Iran – from there. Far out.

        If any, its should be from the friends at the arabian peninsula incl. Kuwait.

    • Jens Holm

      To me Your sonet is completly out of order.

  • abuqahwa

    The long term strategy for Turkey is alway aimed at the elimination of the Kurds within Turkey as a military, political, social or demographic (population) “threat”. This means repression and slow genocide inside Turkey and direct military strikes outside. The strategy for six years has been to fully support Islamic jihadist groups to destroy the Syrian state and install a Sunni theocracy so that the Kurds could then be crushed between the iron (jihadist butchers) and the anvil (Turkey). However the successful defense of Kobane, the re-taking of Manbij, then the final liberation of Aleppo east by the SAA showed that ISIS alone could not achieve Turkey’s aims, so Turkey invaded northern Syria along with different terrorist proxies (FSA) and mercenary Turkmen gangs. Now Turkey has driven a permanent ( I stress permanent) wedge between the Afrin and Manbij Kurds, both districts are now under a real threat of a ground offensive. (Manbij from M4/212 and Sajur River, Afrin from Azaz/Jibrin and Reyhanli salient to the SW).

    In Iblib and northern Laathaqia the various terrorist groupings continue to have unrestricted access to cross-border supplies, arms, equipment and inflow of foreign fighters, funded by Saudi/Qatari, facilitated by Turkey and aided by NATO/British intelligence from the Cyprus bases. This explains how time and again, terrorist groups can mount successful attacks against SAA and Syrian government positions including the latest assaults in the northern mountains of Laathaqia near the frontier.

    Meantime as the SDF/YPG ground forces with active support of US/French/German air strikes and air supply close in on the outer perimeter defenses of Raqqa (W-N-E ) and the SAA begins advancing from the SW/W towards Tabaqa I cannot see any chance of Turkey engaging ISIS here. BTW note that to cut the ISIS route Raqqa-Deir ez-Zour means crossing the Euphrates as the N4 runs along the right bank.

    • PZIVJ1943

      “various terrorist groupings continue to have unrestricted access”
      You are way off base here my friend.
      Jihadist in Idliib are now split into 3 groups! Do they fight for limited supplies. Their last offensive was to take back E Aleppo. Times have changed.
      Russia and Turkey held talks, US and Saudi’s did not receive invitation.

      • Tom Tom

        U.S. had an observer.

    • Jens Holm

      I dont agree about Your conclusions for Tabqa bridgehead. The road crossin the dam is taken and no ISIS are possible. Thats a succes. Its correct they have moved their main line 5 km, but thats a defensive line.

      None knows if they are collecting supplies there, having troops there or/and later will attack Raqqa or Tabqa. To me its clever and so to speak not a lack of being to small or not offencive. To me its playing safe.

      If You look at the map, they have 2 cross a very good defence terrain inclding 2 wisw channels. Its no bright to do that until they later on can do it under less intensice defence fire.

      Its true, they need more support, but for me thats taking Raqqa itself.

      The best option could be Raqqa so to speak – collapsed by itself, but its fine taking ISIS soldiers in small bunches, where they are not fortified. Well, I thought it was impossible to crosse the big irrigation channelin east. Might be ISIS are weaer than hoped.

      The big irrigation channel is to me the one,which start from Tabqa dam and goes round Raqqa even crossing a river.

      • PZIVJ1943

        This is a much faster move than I expected.
        As you said, ISUS are weaker than hoped.
        Good news!!!!

      • Shibumi

        Bork.

  • dutchnational

    The real role of the SDF vs Raqqah has been clear from the bginning. hey are the only force with the will, the manpower and the tactical position to take on Raqqah as of now, as they are indeed doing.

    As mentioned by all concerned, they lack heavy weapons and will need them to take on entering the city. As Manbij showed, taking on a city that is fortified take time, resources and will get you lots of casualties.

    To reduce those casualties, to reduce the timespan taking the city, SDF has to have the heavier weapons now, as in yesterday. The US has the moral obligation to equip the SDF, fighting on its request, to anecessary level to do the job required of them.

    That some of these weapons could be used against turkish invaders is of no consequence. If Turkey will let the SDF be, the SDF will most surely not attack Turkey first, unless they are genociding the kurds of Turkey.

    • Aleks Black

      I hear what you are saying, but there are serious questions about SDF performing against a desperate ISIS force fleeing Raqqa under massive aerial siege. I am not sure who would prevail in a cornered rat contest. Also, tactically speaking ISIS is superior to SDF. But SDF has access to air cover, civilization and time. I think the best strategy is to isolate all ISIS bastions and to starve them into submission, the way the Syrians savaged Aleppo. I recognize there are human shields here, and an element of human rights, but those people are hostages of the terrorists, and we should do everything to keep them safe, starting with killing the terrorists.

      Also, I agree with your assertion that SDF will not invade Turkey. Obviously not. Turkey is a highly capable military force which is why their failure to progress around Al-Bab is questionable. The Syrian army Tiger Forces have been making minced meat of ISIS east of Aleppo and recently have come into direct contact with Turkish-backed FSA. The Russians are planning to use the Syrian tactic of city siege to route isis.

      • SmokyBlue

        The SDF is the best fighting force on the ground, period, much superior to Daesh, and it goes without saying that they are superior to the Syrians, Iraqis, and Turks (including FSA). I have no doubt that they will defeat Daesh in Raqqa and everywhere else they face them, as they have since the beginning of the current conflict.

        • Aleks Black

          I like what they fight for, but to call them the best fighting force on the ground is beyond absurd. The most effective force on the ground is the SAA, equipped with new Russian equipment and freshly trained battle tested troops. The SDF is a good group of people trying to do the right thing, but to claim they are the best fighting force in the region is delusional.

          • SmokyBlue

            The SDF may not have the most advanced weapons, but with the support of the US coupled with their superior fighting ability makes them the best force. The Syrians, allied with the Russians have not been particularly effective. All the Russians know how to do is bomb indiscriminately—NO strategy. The Syrians are not capable at all as far as fighting ability is concerned. The most effective force by far are the Kurds allied with the US and their much superior strategies in every engagement they have been involved in (all of northern Syria, northern Iraq, and now Raqqa). They will also probably impact Deir Ezzor, where the Syrians and Russians are hopelessly overmatched. Even the Iraqis, coupled with US support and superior strategy have far exceeded the Syrians, Russians, and Turks.

          • Aleks Black

            So where is the impact of the SDF? Have they lifted the siege on Deir ez zor? Cut off the Highway to Raqqa? Surrounded Raqqa? Captured the tabqa base and the associated water damn? I don’t think so. I can’t blame SDF because ISIS is, in fact, a tough opponent, but I don’t know what superior fighting ability you are discussing, there is no evidence of it. SDF gets by while everyone else is distracted. FSA similarly proved itself incapable in Aleppo and Al – Bab. It is nice to believe in a romantic story about the Kurdish warriors, but the truth is, they are getting by only, with US help and what you refer to as superior strategies. Look at the effectiveness of SAA Tiger forces east of Aleppo routing ISIS in 1 month in a way that Turkey failed to do with the FSA for three months. The truth is that SDF is a paper tiger, its there, and they are doing good things so yay.

          • SmokyBlue

            Funny, you obviously haven’t been paying attention. The only reason for the recent Syria success east of Aleppo is that the Turks were already defeating Daesh from the Turkish border south to Al Bab. Daesh had to defend itself against the Turks and FSA (who, by the way, have been effective in this campaign). As to the SDF, their primary mission has not been to relieve Deir Ezzor, obviously. They have been busy destroying Daesh everywhere else they have engaged them. They have methodically defeated them in all of the aforementioned conflicts. The SDF has regained more territory from Daesh than any other army. When the time comes (and I think it will be soon), I think they may make a move toward Deir Ezzor. The SDF has not had the sheer numbers of troops that the other armies have had, so they have had to proceed very methodically, which they have done in grand fashion.
            The campaign around Raqqa is brilliant. They are in the process of cutting the road north of the Euphrates. They HAVE basically surrounded Raqqa. The Tabqa portion will come soon. The SDF are in their characteristic fashion slicing, dicing, and ultimately strangling Daesh around Raqqa. If they had the numbers and equipment that the other armies have, Daesh would have been defeated long ago. The Raqqa campaign, along with Mosul, are the two signature campaigns against Daesh in the whole conflict.

          • Aleks Black

            I think your comment is funny on so many different levels from the fictional universe to Dreams of the Kurds. First, the Turks would never capture al-Bab without the SAA cutting their supply lines to the south, and they still have not despite the fact that this morning Russian t-90 and Burotino systems were opening up on Tadif.

            I am not trying to argue with you that I have a problem with the SDF, I do not. They are an interesting holding force that managed to take territory west of Raqqa, while ISIS is busy elsewhere.

            I do agree with you that they lack numbers and equipment.

          • SmokyBlue

            The SAA, as I said, has only been effective because of the Turks’ success in distracting and defeating Daesh. As to the SDF, I would suggest that you study the conflict a bit more. Oh, and the Syrians and Russians really handled Palmyra didn’t they? DUH

          • Aleks Black

            FSA and Turkey did nothing to ISIS in Al- bab other than create propaganda videos in form of burning tanks.

            The Palmyra was a CIA planned sneak attack that involved moving a 5k strong isis force from Mosul to Palmyra while Jamming SAA military frequencies. Now Assad, has a large ISIS force trapped in the deserts where they are picked off by superior fire power and Russian helicopters.

            The fact that you think that SDF can be compared to the SAA is beyond amusing. It is like comparing Real Madrid to you high school team. They look like they are playing the same game, but it is a different sport.

            So Palmyra is getting captured back in due time. The real point out of the Palmyra story is that the CIA failed to engineer a second front to distract the SAA in Aleppo because the rebels folded so fast, they had to be bussed out of Aleppo like children. Then the cowards killed bus drivers because now that they were in the safety of Idlib, they could again kill defenseless with impunity.

            And funny thing about the Dier ez Zor, the way ISIS came to siege that city was after mid September the US air force massacred a company of Syrian soldiers overlooking the hills and preventing the siege of the city? Well the US airforce murdered them, while ISIS conducted a simultaneous attack to create the siege.

            The point of this long story is that the SAA is the only capable force in Syria, Turkey is just there to check the Kurds, the SDF is almost as relevant as the French resistance.

          • SmokyBlue

            You are living in a fantasy world, my friend. Now you’re resorting to conspiracy theories. Come on, get a clue.

          • Aleks Black

            Its not a conspiracy theory, its a fact you dont know about.

          • SmokyBlue

            NAH, just another poor excuse.

          • Aleks Black

            You are welcome to question any fact I have listed, you can explain how a 5k strong force drove from mosul to Palmyra without being seen or attack by any US aircract, and you can explain how ISIS managed to jam SAA military frequencies using coalition aircraft.

          • SmokyBlue

            Well, just keep coming up with those theories, now. Go SDF and USA. Must run.

          • Aleks Black

            Tell me what you think of that, its subtitled. Started at 2:22

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv0fJquJPoE&t=16s

          • SmokyBlue

            One last comment. You don’t really believe Russian lies and propaganda do you? I hope not. This incident was thoroughly investigated and found to be an accident. Typical Russian insecurity and paranoia. Now, I really am signing off. Ridiculous!

          • Aleks Black

            You are talking about the incident in September, which was a disgusting thing, accident or not. The video had you watched it lays out the US involvement in allowing an ISIS attack on Palmyra, to create a chance for the Aleppo terrorists. If anything he says is untrue, let me know what it is so i can verify the lies with other sources.

          • Brad Isherwood

            CIA and Saudi may have over reached with Palmyra.
            That event compelled SAA to aggressively head towards AL Bab with Russian TAC
            Air tearing up Takfiri camps, weapons caches…whatever armor and Toyota with 23 mm were not properly concealed.
            Der Ezzor is considered some 14,000 Takfiri kooks getting crushed by Air power and
            Their repeat suicide assults.
            The battles around T4 cost Takfiri…
            + how many in convoys in the open expanses from Der Ezzor province, to Raqqa.

            It’s possible Takfiri losses may force them to fall back to Raqqa.
            Russian and Syrian attack Helicopters can go Lizard plinking day and night.
            Unless Saudi have another tranche of 15,000 fighters to stuff in,…these
            Recent losses may be game changer.
            ISUS has no wins which cancel their losses.
            US said they spent 2 Billion fighting ISIS. …lol….way way more than that.
            Saudi just lose everyday…at anything they touch.

          • PZIVJ1943

            Some estimates for ISUS around Deir Ezzor where 7,000.
            Looks like they where not expecting SDF to launch Raqqa op this quickly!
            Daesh does not have enough numbers to hold all these fronts.
            This is good news!

          • Brad Isherwood

            https://militarytechcooperations.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/russian-bombers-turn-deir-ezzur-into-hell-for-isil-as-syrian-army-comes-close-to-lift-siege-of-airport/

            http://theduran.com/kuznestov-carrier-us-navy-carriers-royal-navy-submarines-in-port-under-repair/

            It appears the US has lots of problems to resolve now,
            Syria and Ukraine may not get the focus and support now as in years past.
            CIA ability to run operations against Trump’s will…it might become big redux
            Unless Trump is Zionist puppet…which then means he’s going for Iran,
            So US military will increase in Iraq and maybe in the US bases in Kurd Syria.
            The US public will not go for US boots die in Syria.
            If Trump starts really going for Iran…the US public will be angst over that.
            It does appear America is tired of war and political infighting.
            Possibly an Anti Zionist trend is beginning…which means the more the Jews push,
            The more the public hates them.

          • Murf

            Funny how Russian failures are always the fault of the CIA?

          • Aleks Black

            Russian failures in allowing an Isis force to escape from Mosul, travel under us controlled skies, while allied jets jam Syrian military frequencies and paratroop atgm and tow missiles. How exactly is it the fault of the Russians that US decided to arm terrorists in palmyra to rescue terrorists in Aleppo?

          • Murf

            So the enemy sent reinforcements from Mosul.
            You couldn’t intercept them in the Russian controlled skies of Syria. Then they hit you in an area that you left under manned because you had everything you could spare turning Aleppo into rubble.
            And some how that’s our fault that you took a tactical
            risk and ISIS spanked you hard?
            Russia a wonderful place where everything is someone else’s fault.

          • Aleks Black

            I know geography is likely not your strong suit, but Mosul, Iraq and most of the route from Mosul to Palmyra route is pretty much under exclusive US air force control. Mosul itself is under siege by Iraqi army with US mercs. To allow an enemy to escape your assault to go and backstab an ally in another region so you can avoid a fight and give yourself an advantage in another arena(Aleppo) while sabotaging relations between Trump and Putin. Sounds like scumbag Obama activity aided by scum bag CIA. Hopefully, Trump finds the responsible traitors and dispenses the justice they deserve.

          • Murf

            Since 1945 when we EVER allies?
            Even then it as only a matter of necessity. Not preference.
            Obama never even wanted you in there to begin with.What little cooperation broke down in a matter of hours.
            But since you brought up back stabbing, how about the FACT that had Russia ACTUALLY fought ISIS from the beginning (just like Putin announced to the world at the UN) there would have been far few Jihadists opposing the Iraqis at several hard fought battles like Ramadi and Fallujia.
            So I guess that makes us Even Steven.

          • Aleks Black

            Murf, nice to hear from you again. Your knowledge of history while impressive seems to have major holes in it in a sense that the SOVIET UNION was not an ally of the United States, Russia has always had a positive relationship with the United States going back as far as the sale of Alaska. In fact, we share borders with Russia in the Arctic. Most of Russians have no negative views about Americans and perceive Americans very positively despite the action of the Obama government. Trump and Flynn were working hard at bringing peace and bilateral relations until the democrat cowards set up Flynn and leaked that audio to the media. ISIS has only been losing since Russians became involved in the war until then they were playing football with the Iraqi army heads. The fact that they had to be distracted to fight US trained terrorists in Syria because they also threatened the Syrian government is the fault of Obama and his ship of Saudi/Qatar fools. To say that we are “Even Steven” with Russia is a ridiculous statement. Russia and US have a mutual interest in Syria, with jihadism, in space and the future, peaceful world. We shouldn’t topple Syria, obviously.

          • SmokyBlue

            Oh, and I forgot to mention the taking of Manbij.

          • Aleks Black

            Also, American tactics may not be the best thing ever for the SDF, since the doctrine is based on overwhelming force, and SDF constantly loses fire power contests with ISIS.

          • SmokyBlue

            What fire power contests are you referring to, LOL? SDF has ultimately prevailed every time. The SDF is being supplied now with heavy weapons to some extent, but the US air power has more than leveled the playing field. Daesh is no match for that combination.

          • Jacek Wolski

            If the SAA is so superior, why do they control the smallest % of Syria (compared to ISIS, YPG, Al Nusra) after 6 years of war?

          • Aleks Black

            Because the worlds greatest super power and her allies have been arming and training terrorists? You must be some sort of a mental midget. Saa controls Aleppo, Damascus, homs, Hama, every major city in syria. The rebels control tiny portions of sparsely populated land, like the south east desert. Over the last 6 years saa has been rebuilt and rearmed, as well as recently battle tested. You don’t know what you are talking about.

          • Jacek Wolski

            Let me know when the SAA are in FULL and TOTAL control of Syria. Until then, your posturing is futile oh mighty all knowing seer.

          • Aleks Black

            Why are you such an angry Polak? It is true that world’s, major and regional powers created a mess of things, and the fact that SAA is around and doing well considering the effort that was attempted at bringing it down is a testament to it as an incredible fighting organization.
            The SAA recently took Aleppo, in a few days Al Bab will fall. A few short weeks later you will see new reports and social media about the destruction of ISIS in Palmyra. By the end of April, Raqqa will be surrounded and there will be dialogues between the FSA, the SDF, and the SAA to bring peace to a federalized Syria.

          • Jacek Wolski

            I agree with some of your statements and I have no issue with SAA, but I support the Kurdish self-determination. Your comment about myself being a Polak are way off the mark. Don’t judge the book by its cover. And if I was angry, I would have used vulgar profanities. Have a lovely day.

          • Aleks Black

            I guess I misjudged your tone, sorry. I have no problems with the Kurds and wish them the best as a people. In fact, I also agree with some of your statements and consider Kurds to be a capable fighters that could bring stability by removing head choppers from the world.

  • SmokyBlue

    This is a very stupid discussion by Southfront. Whoever is doing their analysis is either out to lunch or showing a very strong Russian bias–probably both.

    Other than securing Tabqa and the dam, there is obviously no reason to try to conduct broad military operations south of the Euphrates. Since there is no anti-Daesh force in place between Palmyra, Deir Ezzor and Raqqa, any attempt to launch a campaign in that area would be futile. The Kurds will have Raqqa totally cut off very soon and will be able to take Raqqa. That is their objective.

    As far as relieving pressure on Deir Ezzor, the Kurds located north of Deir Ezzor offer the best option. My prediction: once Raqqa has been fully isolated by the Kurds (closing the Eastern approach) and the campaign against west Mosul has started, the Kurds north of Deir Ezzor will start to move.

    • Jens Holm

      seems as good hopes and ideas. SDF has to be able to defend themselves from ISIS incommers themselves too and are getting help for it along their border.

  • SmokyBlue

    The Kurds and US have not even begun an operation to take Tabqa yet. There is no failure; the campaign hasn’t even started–LOL

    • Jens Holm

      I agree 100%. its a dirty one and make a longer defenceline as a bridgehead.

  • SmokyBlue

    Additionally, taking Raqqa will naturally cut off support between Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. As far as the areas south of the Euphrates are concerned, that territory is wide open. Any Daesh already located south or west of the Euphrates, cannot be stopped from getting to Deir Ezzor regardless of whether the road running along the south bank of the Euphrates is cut or not.

  • The word has learned in this conflict very well who the enemies of everyone is, and who the friends are. This is why Americans stopped voting for establishment-Zionist, and voted for Nationalist-Trump instead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-MmC2r9EDU

  • ghostmourn

    I hope all this territory will go back to the Syrian people (If there are any left by the time this is over.) It must be sickening for them to watch all these groups fight over and dividing their home.

    I think they will have to dig Turkey out of Syria like a tic! They are going to hang in as long as they can.

    • Jacek Wolski

      Syria is a hollowed out ghost shell. If Assad doesn’t grant rights to the Kurds, this war will continue for generations to come. My forefathers fought and shed blood for 125 years before they could claim their freedom. And you can never put a price on liberty, only death.

  • NeoLeo

    “US-Backed Advance On Raqqah. What Is Going On?” Al Baghdadi got the orders to withdraw and focus on non-american opponents (SAA mostly and even TA), that’s obvious for months.

    • Jens Holm

      I get the picture, I think. The opponents to ISIS are all capable to fight them at the same time.

      Bagdadi in Mosul cant move many troops to SAA – The one – kind of extra – are already in use at Palmyra and Der El Zor and now SDF are taking their part too.

      Think You should make or buy a new globe. The only stronghold ISIS keeps intact is Qaim/Bukamal

  • Southern

    The US hasn’t got a mandate to even be in Syria, even though Syria has asked the US to leave her territory.

    The war mongering neocons are desperately trying to prevent Syrian forces from gaining control, far as they’re concerned it’s literally divide and conquer — meaning that a Caliphate would split Syria as intended and they would also be easier to manipulate.

    This would suit the Zionist who’ve already granted some well known characters to drill inside Syrian territory.