What are the real motivations behind America’s push to take over Raqqa. For public consumption, the Raqqa, Syria offensive will be branded as an operation to rid the area of ISIS.
Behind the curtain, Raqqa may potentially be used as part of a larger safe zone area where America, Turkey and Saudi allies continue to train “moderate rebels” also known as Al Qaeda / Al Nusra jihadist terrorists.
The end goal…to keep the war in Syria alive, and keep the diminishing hopes of overthrowing Assad in play, irregardless of the inevitable fact that the legitimate government in Damascus will soon control the major urban western hubs of the fractured nation.
It’s a sinister plan that is certain to lead to more problems than solutions…but so is American foreign policy when it comes to Syria, Iraq and the wider Middle East.
It’s also a plan that the US State Department appears to not be onboard with.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a daily press briefing…
“How the liberation takes place, how we get local governance re-established after the liberation: our expectation, as has been elsewhere, is that outside forces would then withdraw.”
“We don’t want to see semi-autonomous zones. The reality is, though, as territory is liberated from [Islamic State], you’ve got to get some kind of governance back into these areas, but by no means are we condoning… any kind of semi-autonomous areas in northern Syria.”
“Ultimately, we want to see a sovereign, intact Syria.”
Here is a suggestion for Mark Toner and the US State Department, how about letting the internationally recognized government of Syria govern a city located in the sovereign state of Syria.
US General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with his Turkish counterpart General Hulusi Akar in Ankara on Sunday, and sang a much different tune than Toner…
Dunford said that taking and holding Raqqa requires a “predominantly Arab and Sunni Arab force.”
“The coalition and Turkey will work together on the long-term plan for seizing, holding and governing Raqqa.”
“And there are forces like that. There is the moderate Syrian opposition, the vetted Syrian forces and the Free Syrian Army forces, and there is some initial outreach to forces in Raqqa proper.”
There are no “moderate forces” in Syria…this lie has been well established. There are Al Qaeda forces in Raqqa, who can continue the war in Syria with the right American, Turkish and Saudi Arabian supervision.
General Dunford made the claim that he does not see any group as capable of governing Raqqa after it is liberated…
“We always knew the SDF wasn’t the solution for holding and governing Raqqa. What we are working on right now is to find the right mix of forces for the operation.”
And the right mix will not involve the Syrian government, but Turkey…
“They [Turkey] will be helpful in identifying the right forces to do that [govern Raqqa].”
RT reports on the divergence of perspective with regards to the operation taking place in Raqqa…
US officials are split over the future of Raqqa, Syria, with some claiming all international forces will leave the city once it is freed from terrorists, and others announcing plans to stay to ‘govern’ it along with Turkey.
As Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, backed by US advisers and coalition airstrikes, slowly advance on the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa, US officials have been voicing their opinions on what will happen to Raqqa once it is liberated. The US State Department says that after the terrorists are defeated, all foreign forces will leave the city to let the Syrians run it.
The US military’s position, however, differs slightly from that of the State Department.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.