Small Wars Journal

Three-Way Contest for Raqqa to Shape Mideast

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 2:54pm

Three-Way Contest for Raqqa to Shape Mideast by Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal

All roads lead to Raqqa—and as the Syrian conflict enters its sixth year, the outcome of the scramble for Islamic State’s de facto capital will shape the balance of power in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.

With the self-styled caliphate rapidly shrinking in Iraq after the loss of much of Mosul, the fall of Raqqa and Islamic State’s remaining territories in Syria has become just a matter of time. The contest over who gets these spoils, however, threatens to unleash a new spiral of violence that could draw regional and global powers deeper into the conflict.

The three forces aiming for Raqqa—Sunni Arab rebels, the Syrian regime and Kurdish-led militias—all view control over that area as giving them crucial leverage in any political settlement of the war.

The complicated dynamic is further muddled by the strategic calculations of their main sponsors, whose own interests extend far beyond the power struggle inside Syria…

Read on.


Outlaw 09

Sun, 04/02/2017 - 4:32am

English-speaking, Western anarchists establish @IRPGF in Syria to join the YPG & PKK's "Revolution in Rojava.”

Serious Q: Would it be legal for Americans, Brits etc. to go to Syria to join this "International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Force”?

U.S policy has directly enabled this socialist militant growth in Syria.

IRPGF is directly linked to YPG/PKK foreign recruitment flows.

Photos clearly showing Communist/PKK slogans/flags on Syrian thread

Outlaw 09

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 1:46pm

AND that US Kurdish proxy YPG which is just a fig leaf for the US terror named communist Kurdish group PKK which has been at war with Turkey for over 40 years.....

“I oppose all U.S presence in Syria”

“[Americans are] occupiers & imperialists”

- American Marxists in the YPG: …

CENTCOM Townsend dismisses a question as a "political agenda" to protect his political agenda of ignoring the PYD/PKK's political agenda

PYD-led admin to open Ocalan park in Efrin on his birthday (4 April) (ANHA)

Outlaw 09

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 11:56am

"The U.S is deepening involvement in complex wars in the MidEast that lack clear endgames"

VN here we come......

Outlaw 09

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 1:19pm

In reply to by Outlaw 09

Lesson 5 - U.S support to #YPG & pliable pro-#YPG Arab militias has dramatically limited US options & created explosive divisions in #Syria.

Lesson 6 - The U.S can leverage specific Arab tribal support to counter-#ISIS, but this needs emboldened anti-#Assad/#Iran/#Russia actions.

Fact 1 - x2 tribes alone pledged 7,000-10,000 men to the U.S to fight #ISIS in 2014/15, but withdrew them due to the ban on fighting #Assad.

Outlaw 09

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 1:18pm

In reply to by Outlaw 09

More #YPG & #PKK-/ #calan- supporting fighters with #US-made combat vehicles in #Iraq's #Kirkuk province.

PKK is a US named communist terrorist Kurdish group...

Outlaw 09

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 1:07pm

Fantastic report based on interviews with *the* key 4 tribes in #Raqqa.

- A MUST READ, with important lessons:

Based on fieldwork undertaken in #Raqqa (edited by @Andrewtabler), a number of *very* important lessons need to be acknowledged *now.*

Lesson 1 - ALL of #Raqqa’s key tribes are deeply hostile to U.S-backed #YPG & skeptical of the #SDF.
Today’s strategy ensures further war.

Lesson 2 - A sizeable U.S troop deployment into eastern #Syria based on today’s strategy is v. likely to spark a broader hostile insurgency.

Lesson 3 - #Raqqa’s x4 key Arab tribes demand *indirect* U.S. anti-#ISIS actions, channeled through #Turkey & opposition group operations.

Lesson 4 - x3/4 of #Raqqa’s main tribes want an expansion of #Turkey’s Euphrates Shield to fight for #ISIS-held #Raqqa - not #YPG or #SDF.

Outlaw 09

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:49am

White House in a “red hot” debate over #Raqqa strategy - may not decide until late-April 2017.

White House #Raqqa debate:
1. Re-evaluate #YPG relationship & heal #Turkey ties
2. Use YPG to take city then hand it to #Assad/#Russia

Turkey Foreign Minister:
1. We will attack #YPG in #Manbij
2. U.S is “undecided & disoriented” on #Raqqa plans

WHO would have thought the Trump WH and yes even Trump himself is "confused and disoriented"??????

Turkey says relations with the U.S will be “seriously damaged” if the #Raqqa op is led by #YPG/#SDF

Germany forbids #calan and #YPG flags during public demonstrations.
Reason: They are "suited to promote the cohesion of the #PKK".

Germany bans public display of calan portraits, arguing that it would mobilize for banned terror group PKK.

SDF already set up a Manbij-style council to take over. Expectation YPG will then trade Raqqa to regime in return for autonomy.