NBC news reports that Washington has no further developed plans in Syria beyond capturing Raqqa, considered to be an ISIS de-facto capital.
On October 17, Raqqa was captured the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. US President’s Administration provided no comment regarding its further plans in Syria.
The US is clear on one thing though — they don’t want eastern Syria to get under control of Damascus or Tehran. The matter Washington can not come to an agreement on is who should be in control of Syria.
Trump’s Administration in general does not consider Syria’s legitimate President Bashar al-Assad to be a suitable candidate. The other people in the US top brass see al-Assad as the only man capable of stopping Syria from becoming a metaphorical “black hole engulfing much of the region”.
Growing tensions between the US and Turkey with Russia’s and Iran’s increasing presence in the region may become detrimental to stabilising the region following the liberation of Raqqa.
“The more you come close to defeating ISIS in Raqqa and elsewhere, the more it exposes the fact that we don’t have any clear strategy for Iraq and Syria or for dealing with Turkey or the growing Russian influence in the region,” Anthony H. Cordesman, a military strategy consultant with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said. “We may be on the edge of destroying the physical caliphate, but the problems that remain are great indeed.”