US-Backed YPG Forces Announce 3rd Stage Of Operation To Isolate ISIS Stronghold Of Al-Raqqah

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The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in other words the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), announced Wednesday the 3rd phase of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates, aiming to liberate the ISIS self-proclaimed capital of al-Raqqah.

While the general goal of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates is to liberate al-Raqqah from ISIS terrorists, the aim of the 3rd stage is to further isolate the ISIS-held city .

YPG forces, backed by the US-led coalition, will most likely develop and advance east of al-Raqqah in order to flank the city from this direction (Arrow 1).

There are also speculation in pro-Kurdish sources that the YPG is going to cross the Euphrates and to retake the Tabqa Dam and the town of Tabqa from ISIS, further flanking al-Raqqah from the southwestern direction (Arrow 2). However, this looks as a complicated task.

The coming days will show which decision the US coalition and its local allies will choose.

US-Backed YPG Forces Announce 3rd Stage Of Operation To Isolate ISIS Stronghold Of Al-Raqqah

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  • Pave Way IV

    Yesterday we had the bizarre news that US-LED COALITION SENDS NEW BATCH OF MILITARY HARDWARE TO SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES (PHOTOS)

    Two hundred were supposedly delivered, but now CENTCOM claims the IAG Guardians were only sent to the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) part of the SDF, not the Kurds. The YPG SDF didn’t get any (according to the U.S.) In case you’re confused, the SAC is either:

    1. A few hundred left-over FSA, mostly Kurd-friendly (or at least ordered to be)
    2. Arab mercs (probably from the UAE) flown in by the U.S. to mimic local ‘Arab tribal militias’
    3. Straggler FSA now turned merc for the U.S. and serving as the SAC contingent of the SDF

    Which is basically just a sham FSA/merc force relabeled by the U.S. as the totally non-FSA (we promise!) SAC – the small ‘Arab’ part of the SDF – while the other 90% are Kurds.

    OK, let’s say we’re all completely fooled by the name change and believe these SAC were just local Arab militia from Kurdish-held areas. At best, there were a few hundred of these guys and never anywhere near a thousand. That’s what they said in Manbij. So who gets the 200 IAG Guardian ‘up-armored SUVs’ (that’s what the U.S. calls them)? That’s like one for every one or two SAC guys. Damn!

    Or… I’ll also point out that the 2000 or so odd Rojava Peshmerga that the U.S. trained in Iraq were also supposedly given IAG Guardians. These were basically a bunch of mercs the U.S. rounded up (a lot of Turkish Kurds and who knows what else) a year ago to ‘help’ the Syrian YPG. Except the YPG didn’t trust these non-Syrian mercs and wouldn’t let them into Syria. I think the Syrian YPG thought these were Kurds loyal to the Barzani mafia from Iraq and planned on taking over Kurdish Syria from them. The YPG said they could come to Syria as individuals and join the YPG as YPG soldiers, but not come as organized groups of ‘Rojava Peshmerga’ (a name made up by the U.S.).

    So did the SAC really get the 200 Guardians? Or did they get a few as cover for the U.S. sneaking in a few thousand ‘Rojava Peshmerga’ from Iraq? And now Euphrates Wrath Phase III? Looks like (at least partially) a sweep south towards Deir EzZor to steal more oilfields from the Syrians. If the SAC guys are still in Manbij or somewhere else, who – exactly – is sweeping south for the oilfield grab on the east side of the Euphrates down by Deir EzZor?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0b046a3e804b10c44d60b8d6f4912e2b2ff07ee704755637190e08c4e8c9d2a.jpg

    • dutchnational

      There is something to be said or what you wrote.

      You are forgetting a few essential points :

      1. Tribal militia from Shamar, Baggara and Shaitaita tribes joind the SDF, some 8 to 10.000 fighter.
      2. Many arabs joind the YPG and even YPJ directly, comprising now some 25 to % of YPG
      3. Some secular groups under Jarbar joined the SDF recently, some 3.000 men.

      YPG remains in control, that s correct, even with a higher arab component. The distinction between arabs and kurds is n the view f SDF a fake one as they are, if you want claim to be, multi-ethnic. This means that in time most of this equipment will be used by the YPG.

      • Pave Way IV

        I believe that those tribal militia joined the SDF on paper, dutchnational. That would be essentially all the SAC, right? What I can’t believe is that there are actually 8-10K of those soldiers that have been trained by the U.S. SF and are moving around as individual units and participating in operations like Manbij. There may be that many soldiers in the three militias total, but most of these remain in their home territory for security and are not assigned to front-line units. How many of those are actually committed to and participate in joint SDF operations? There were claims of that many since Manbij, but there only seemed (from very limited reports) to be a few hundred participating in the operation vs. thousands of YPG. If they refuse to join the YPG, then why would anyone believe they are willing to die for territory/resources that will be part of Syrian Kurdistan? I believe they would want to fight ISIS to keep them away from their villages, but why would they want to die to take Manbij or Raqqa if they’re not from there?

        The Arabs that joined the YPG and YPJ directly are integrated with and effectively part of all operations – they move around like all the other soldiers, so I’m not counting them as SAC and don’t think the YPG would single them out for the Guardians. I think it’s great that they joined, but the Turks already have their minds made up about the YPG. And despite whatever integration has taken place so far, the YPG is still a Kurdish dominated force commanded by Kurds in Kurdish under the direction of U.S.-influenced Kurdish political parties. Arab members are foot soldiers, not commanders.

        I realize the YPG isn’t ever going to be this monolithic, integrated military. I’m not criticizing the progress they have made so far – they have done what they can. The problem with the YPG (and PYD for that matter) is that they have morphed into an army of conquest to take land, resources and infrastructure from the Syrian people for their own. It’s disingenuous to say you want to remain part of Syria, but steal their oil and water for yourself. Everyone realizes that a huge reason the U.S. is supporting them is to benefit from the oil exploration and production deals they will make with the Kurds. That will all be on oil-bearing lands stolen from Syria and given away at the Kurds (or local Arab tribe’s) whim, despite the will of the Syrian people. If the U.S. is involved at all, Syrian Kurdistan (or whatever it’s called today) will be a coalition of corrupt local mafias stealing everything they can, just like Iraqi Kurdistan.

        • Jens Holm

          Very long and good comment. I will comment some of it.

          First its not only USA which are training them, but also from several Nato members, which also supply them. Secondly most of the recruits only get 6 weeks of training or a little more. Only specialist are given more and officers more than that.

          The new ones join SDF units. Kurds are in YPG & YPJ and only few are mixed into them. Above that You have a almost only kurdish leadership, because it started with only kurds and a few others. It will remain so until others has shown they are better or those leaders die.

          You are partly right about those tribethinkings, but Im sure Kurds and ISIS has changed that a lot. They cant defend themselves even at their own turfs, if they dont help each other in the sekular way.

          Im sure many kurds has changed too. The main reason is, that they now are something and Assads are not by supporting fx arabs and there are no Assads army, police and security. Seems like Kurds are nicer to neighbors then ever.

          And the “How many are they”. An army is nothing without constant help, so the amount of troops are brutto. Many are soldiers but are mainly used for food, water, ammo, repair of guns, vehicles, radio communication.

          Much more is behind the line than in the front. You give the numbers for a frontzone. I gues they are many more, but You have to see, that the Yellow parts has a very long frontzone.

          Im sure they have some extras several places. One of them could be north of manbij, one could be at the Tabqa front, one could be north of Raqqa front, one could be at the fortified Markada protecting Hasakah. Im sure they also have extra troops at the northerns iraqian border, so ISIS dont use jazira as an escape route. Well, I forgot their northern Turkish artillery shelling line…

          As a last thing Kurds kurds havnt partipated in the uprise. If they had Assads wasnt there today. Secondly that havnt taken land from Assads, but from ISIS, which took it from Assads.

          Kurds hasnt attacked Assads(apart from a few small incidents). You see those areas as Rojava and as a country. Well I dont. I see it as 2 things. 1) a place with no ISIS which has done much damage there and they dont like ISIS-sunni-arabs as neighbors. Why is that?

          Secondly they have to have defendeble frontlines and has to reduce ISIS. Thats why they have taken more and are given help by someone, which dont like ISIS as well. Makes much sense to me.

          Which choise did they have. 400.000 dead in Kobani or as refugees in Turkey. They didnt ran away as the 8-10 million others, and now You blame THEM.

          The oilshit again. Its easy re-arranged. The regions get in % according to their populations and kurds not even have the main parts of it. Kurds are citicens and pay tax too.

          One of the reasons for the troubles in Iraq about oil is exactly the same. Kurds and Arabs didnt get their % of the oilmoney, which also was a part of the arab uprise there. Bagdads didnt care about the rest as long as they got all the oil.

          You certainly has to turn that oil explanation 180 degrees. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63495b257ad6d4bb8605efbc9f048934bd96a0368dd3800cc01ee7ff34130d46.png

      • jeffjones

        The situation ‘on the ground’ would imply that your analysis is correct. Although it is a fluid situation the reality is that people (women/children and old people) have to live day by day. It has proved to be the Peoples’ Protection Units which give the best familial guard.

    • Jens Holm

      This comment is full of non updates. Even the articel is. SDF is not KDF. You can read about in many links by google fx https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Democratic_Forces

      Next up to 40% af SDF of today are non kurds and that % is rising

      Next its announced several times, that arabs are the new comming frontzone to isolate Raqqa. Therefore its obvios in stead of strange, that THEY get the extra transportation.

      And up armed is known as word before WW2. You take a CIVILE unarmed vehichle and arm it light , so it can take normal bullets and more or less heavy machinegun fire.

      Britts used it very much, because they were used to it in their colony wars, where the defenders/uprisers only had riffels and no heavy stuff.

      German, americans, french invented armed vehicles as only military units from the beginning, so the armory was steel from the beginning. All trucks has extra strong parts, so they could carry much more and often 2 wheels extra.

      Your description of the non kurds in SDF and a couple of groups associated to them is not fair. First they are all highly motivated and secondly they at least has 6 weeks of training. Its true, they are not veterans, but some has done figting against ISIS before.

      And my last remark is, that SDF and the Rojava possestion actually gets more local support. The waves has at least changed. Many arabs there now prefare SDF for ISIS and are not passive about it.

      A minimum for them is to get rid of ISIS and go back to their plows and sheep.

  • Barba_Papa

    It doesn’t matter much who they are, they are however a lot more effective then the Syrian army. Which has a LOT more firepower at its disposal. Not to mention more firepower. As the SAA inches (literaly) towards Al Bab the SDF takes in a day what the SAA tales weeks to accomplish. At least they’re something right.

    • Hisham Saber

      Ya right. The Kurds have been running around on the outskirts of Al-Raqqa for half a year now. And what have they to show for it?> more silly maneuvers. Meanwhile, the SAA have liberated Aleppo, Wadi AlBarada, held up nicely in Deir Ezzor etc.

      Ya, some heroes these amateur Kurds are. The SAA even saved a bunch of Kurd ass in Eastern Aleppo.

      I hate to break it to you, but the Kurds are useless backstabbers, there will not be a Kurdistan, and there never has been one. The Kurds are just being used and abused by the U.S. and Israel.

      What a laugh, thanks.

      • Barba_Papa

        Actually the Kurds have taken a LOT more territory then the SAA. Remember Manbij? What has the SAA to show for? It took half a year to take East Allepo, and they almost almost lost it in August when the Jihadists smashed through the frontlines. The SAA also got its asses handed to them by ISIS in Palmyra and the failed Taaba offensive in the summer. And they’ve only barely managed to hang on in Deir Ezzor by the skin of their teeth. The outcome of that battle is still to be decided.

        In fact the SAA is only force that still loses grounds and sometimes lots of it against ISIS. The Turks have taken huge swaths of ISIS territory, the Iraqis have taken huge swaths of ISIS territory, the Kurds have taken huge swaths of ISIS territory. What has the SAA gained? Some unimportant ground south of Al Bab, playing 2nd fiddle to assist the Turks, a foreign army on its own soil.

        If the SAA could operate as well, as skilled and as motivated as the Kurds can with next to nothing this war would have been over years ago.

        • Hisham Saber

          Spoken like a true Zionist blowjob, if I had your address, I would send you a prayer rug to kneel on while you service your Israeli cousins.

          The Kurds got kicked out of Manbij right away. The SAA liberated nearly all of the population centers in Syria except for Raqqa and a few other small towns. Palmyra was a tactical withdraw, and not strategically important, for right now. The Kurds were surrounded in Eastern Aleppo and taking a beating, and were liberated by the SAA. The battle of Aleppo is the Stalingrad of Syria. And it was a SAA victory. I got news for you you Arab hater, there never has been a Kurdistan, and there never will be one. The heroic SAA and allies have rolled up the acres in Syria in many places, and the ISIS are turning themselves in and surrendering in vast numbers as we speak. The SAA take there time to avoid civilian casualties. The Kurds only get credit for Kobane, that’s it.

          Again , the SAA have a concern for civilians, unlike ISIS or the wish-washy Kurds. Who have been running around Raqqa for who knows how long. And they took Kobane after it was raised to the ground by U.S. airstrikes.

          Hasbara troll. Long Live the SAA and Hezbollah, who wiped Israel in 2006. And will do it again, anytime.