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What is next? Way to Raqqa

Tineric
Posts: 47
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11/17/2016 5:46:57 AM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
Although Mosul has not yet been recaptured, the US and its allies apparently consider it a matter already settled. Eventually, the downfall of the Caliphate capital (as well as of the eastern part of Aleppo) is inevitable. This begs the question about the next target. Following the liberation of Iraqi Mosul, it is planned to recapture Syria"s Raqqa " the second major stronghold of IS militants. At the same time, the Americans do not plan any involvement of either Russian or Syrian military in this operation. Naturally, the question arises of which forces will carry out a ground operation to recapture the Syrian city, which appears to be inevitable given the specific nature of the battlefield. There is little doubt that the US, France and other members of the coalition will only confine themselves to air support. Furthermore, it is not clear what will the legal basis will be for their involvement in combat operations. It is unclear to many, but not to members of the US-led coalition. The US State Department described as "insulting" the very comparison of the Russian-Syrian operation to liberate eastern Aleppo with the American operation in Mosul. In its view, the fact that Russia supports the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, while in Iraq the operation is carried out by a "coalition of 66 nations," which enjoys "broad support and legitimacy in the international community" accounts for the fundamental difference between these two operations.
The Americans believe that the Kurds are the only internal Syrian force capable of launching an offensive in the region. Any coordination with the Syrian government forces is simply out of the question. At the same time, taking Raqqa through the use of Kurdish forces will automatically mean the region"s inclusion in the Democratic Federal System for Rojava and Northern Syria " a type of Kurdish federation within Syria, proclaimed in March 2016. However, in reality, the Kurdish troops are not as formidable as their patrons tend to believe: the Kurdish fighters are irregular, prone to guerrilla warfare, lack military discipline and are far from their homes, which dramatically demotivates them. Furthermore, it should be taken into account that the attitude of the local Arab population towards these "liberators" is very far from positive. As for other peoples of Syria, they do not welcome the arrival of the Kurds either. And expulsion seems to be the best scenario for the latter.It should be noted that, notwithstanding nearly all the UN Security Council resolutions on Syria emphasizing the need for a "political transition under the guidance and with the active participation of the Syrians," the country"s future is decided beyond its borders. Incidentally, none of the UN Security Council resolutions on Syria allows for any foreign interference in the Syrian conflict. On the contrary, the resolutions have repeatedly stressed the need to resolve the conflict by the Syrians themselves. The international community has been assigned the role of intermediary in the negotiations and election observer only.
Stymie13
Posts: 2,162
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11/17/2016 6:01:53 AM
Posted: 3 weeks ago
At 11/17/2016 5:46:57 AM, Tineric wrote:
Although Mosul has not yet been recaptured, the US and its allies apparently consider it a matter already settled. Eventually, the downfall of the Caliphate capital (as well as of the eastern part of Aleppo) is inevitable. This begs the question about the next target. Following the liberation of Iraqi Mosul, it is planned to recapture Syria"s Raqqa " the second major stronghold of IS militants. At the same time, the Americans do not plan any involvement of either Russian or Syrian military in this operation. Naturally, the question arises of which forces will carry out a ground operation to recapture the Syrian city, which appears to be inevitable given the specific nature of the battlefield. There is little doubt that the US, France and other members of the coalition will only confine themselves to air support. Furthermore, it is not clear what will the legal basis will be for their involvement in combat operations. It is unclear to many, but not to members of the US-led coalition. The US State Department described as "insulting" the very comparison of the Russian-Syrian operation to liberate eastern Aleppo with the American operation in Mosul. In its view, the fact that Russia supports the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, while in Iraq the operation is carried out by a "coalition of 66 nations," which enjoys "broad support and legitimacy in the international community" accounts for the fundamental difference between these two operations.
The Americans believe that the Kurds are the only internal Syrian force capable of launching an offensive in the region. Any coordination with the Syrian government forces is simply out of the question. At the same time, taking Raqqa through the use of Kurdish forces will automatically mean the region"s inclusion in the Democratic Federal System for Rojava and Northern Syria " a type of Kurdish federation within Syria, proclaimed in March 2016. However, in reality, the Kurdish troops are not as formidable as their patrons tend to believe: the Kurdish fighters are irregular, prone to guerrilla warfare, lack military discipline and are far from their homes, which dramatically demotivates them. Furthermore, it should be taken into account that the attitude of the local Arab population towards these "liberators" is very far from positive. As for other peoples of Syria, they do not welcome the arrival of the Kurds either. And expulsion seems to be the best scenario for the latter.It should be noted that, notwithstanding nearly all the UN Security Council resolutions on Syria emphasizing the need for a "political transition under the guidance and with the active participation of the Syrians," the country"s future is decided beyond its borders. Incidentally, none of the UN Security Council resolutions on Syria allows for any foreign interference in the Syrian conflict. On the contrary, the resolutions have repeatedly stressed the need to resolve the conflict by the Syrians themselves. The international community has been assigned the role of intermediary in the negotiations and election observer only.

If we were smart we'd stay the heck out of Raqqa like we should have in Iraq.