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Focus: Syria - Mar 11, 2017


By bartolo - Posted on 11 March 2017


The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say they are confident to capture Islamic State capital Raqqa: "We have enough forces to liberate Raqqa with the help of the coalition." Is this a true assessment or an overstatement? Raqqa is inhabited by Arabs and is not part of Syrian Kurdistan. An effective and winning strategy leads to the conclusion that Raqqa should be liberated by Arab forces. The Syrian Democratic Forces, which are led by the Kurdish YPG and include also an Arab component named Syrian Arab Coalition, to date lack adequate equipment and training and may not be strong enough to defeat the Islamic State even with the support of US airstrikes. Relying on them in the liberation of Raqqa may result in a long-protracted war with heavy casualties and uncertain conclusion. There is the risk that US troops, now in ‘advisory’ role, will get involved in direct combat operations to make up for the deficiencies of the Syrian Democratic Forces and set up a chain of unforeseeable events with disastrous consequences. Erdogan’s Turkey, which vehemently opposes any role by the Kurds in the liberation of Raqqa, will obstruct their intervention by any means. Assad, who says that capturing Raqqa is a priority of the Syrian Army, will oppose a US-backed and Kurdish-led offensive without coordination with his government. On this Russia will side with Assad. The Syrian Democratic Forces cannot be the leader in the Raqqa offensive but a participant in auxiliary roles. The US should welcome the Assad pledge to liberate Raqqa and coordinate with Russia the military operations. The benefits for US will be to win the war against the Islamic State in Syria, save lives and money.


Backed by US troops, SDF confident can capture IS 'capital’ Raqqa - WTOP


US-backed SDF captures 40 km of land between Deir Ezzor and Raqqa - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Kurdish-led forces capture strategic Menxer hill near Raqqa - ekurd


VIDEO: Syrian Democratic Forces release 40 captured Turkey-backed rebels to relieve tensions between warring parties - almasdarnews.com


Hundreds of ISIS fighters pour into Raqqa as Kurdish forces advance - almasdarnews.com


300 families of IS fighters flee Syria's Raqqa - gulf-times.com


Spokesperson: Coalition will support SDF to cut off IS routes in Raqqa - kurdistan24.net


U.S. says Kurdish YPG group of Syrian Kurdistan not terrorist - ekurd


US prepares surprise assault on Raqqa by Ranger Regiment: Reports - southfront.org

 

Russia, US discuss communications channel on Syria: Pentagon - TASS


U.S. split over plan to take Raqqa from Islamic State - WSJ


Three-way contest for Raqqa to shape Mideast - WSJ


Dem introduces bill to block Trump administration from funding U.S. troops in Syria - breitbart.com


Turkey kills 71 US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria: Army - kurdistan24.net


Turkish FM: Turkey will hit PYD/PKK in Syria's Manbij if they stay - yenisafak.com


Turkey plans to build new town near Syrian Al-Bab - southfront.org


Syrian rebels want Astana meeting delayed to assess ceasefire - Reuters


Agenda of Geneva talks on Syria set for March 23 : 1. Counter-Terrorism 2. New Constitution 3. Elections 4. Governance 5. Reconstruction - Dr Shahid on Twitter

 

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Assad calls U.S. forces 'invaders', but still hopeful on Trump - Reuters


Assad says priority is capturing IS capital Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, Syrian army girds for final showdown with Daesh - Sputnik


Assad opens doors for China to restore Syria ‘in every sector with no exception' - Sputnik


VIDEO: Assad interview - Phoenix Chinese Channel


TRANSCRIPT: Assad interview to Chinese Phoenix TV - Syrian Arab News Agency


Military expert: Syrian army to besiege Raqqa from West - farsnews.com


Army destroys ISIS gatherings and boats in Deir Ezzor – Syrian Arab News Agency


Army destroys tank and fuel tanker for ISIS in Deir Ezzor, targets ISIS and al-Nusra in Homs – Syrian Arab News Agency


Syrian Govt restored pumping stations feeding Aleppo city with water supplies - southfront.org


Army unit seized Turkish truck loaded with weapons and ammo bound for ISIS terrorists in Hama – Syrian Arab News Agency

 

Syrian government urges U.N. to make Turkey withdraw from Syria - Reuters


Damascus bombings near Shite pilgrimage sites kill dozens - The New York Times


Syria demands UN condemnation of terrorist attacks in Damascus – Syrian Arab News Agency


Israel concerned by reported pending deal between Iran and Assad regime that would see Islamic Republic build military base at Mediterranean port of Latakia - Algemeiner.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

 

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