The Syrian forces have set to launch assault on the ISIS-held city of Raqqa from points like Atharia and Aleppo’s eastern outskirts. Some evidences suggest the Americans already had full information about the Syrian army’s plan to attack and recapture the ISIS-held city.
A stronghold of ISIS for being home to a large number of terrorists, Raqqa is one of the most significant ISIS’ hotbeds in Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of different Syrian groups, with a special role of the Kurdish forces and cooperation with the US in the past few days has gone to great lengths to recapture Raqqa.
The Syrian Democratic Forces is a military alliance comprised of the Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Armenian and Turkmen militant groups. Since the eruption of crisis in Syria and attacks of ISIS, the Syrian Democratic Forces declared establishment in Turkey, aiming at pushing ISIS out of Syria and Turkish borders and at the same time fighting against the Syrian government. But a question presents itself here: Why are the Americans seeking recapture of ISIS’ stronghold?
Washington does not want Raqqa’s recapture become a Syrian army’s honor
Some evidences show that the US is well aware of the Syrian army’s plan to attack and retake Raqqa. The Syrian army’s units are planned to move toward the ISIS-held city from Atharia and Aleppo’s eastern outskirts. The informed sources suggest that the plan was set for implementation two months ago. The US and allies with the excuse of the ceasefire have made efforts to form an alliance between the Al-Qaeda forces like al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups like Ahrar ash-Sham, Jaish al-Islam and Jaysh al-Fatah, to make a chaos in Aleppo to prevent final Syrian operation to recapture Raqqa. Meanwhile, the Americans immediately started connections with Salih Muslim, the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, and armed his forces in an unprecedented way, and pushed them to start operation to reclaim Raqqa. Hundreds of US forces are planned to lead Raqqa recapture mission.
Second step to split Syria
Since three months ago, the Syrian Kurds, in a press conference, announced establishment of federal Kurdish area in Syria and their autonomy with a backing from the US. Furthermore, the Kurds in northern Syria claimed that they obtained agreement of seven tribal Arab leaders in Raqqa to attach the province to the autonomous Kurdish region Rojava. Recapture of ISIS’ stronghold would be a more practical start of establishment of federal system in northern Syria with a Washington backing. The Kurds are the frontrunners in the hands of the US to partition Syria- a plan for years followed by the Israeli regime so that the Kurds of Iran, Syria, Turkey and Iraq are united under an independent government. By retaking Raqqa, the Kurds seek separating the significant city from the Turkish border lines, and so blocking any Turkish movement in the city. This plan is to be operational with liberation of Mang region.
Mobilizing ISIS for stronger camp against Syrian army
Following possible Raqqa recapture, a slew of ISIS forces very likely would be deployed to Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria for more effective and stronger confrontation of the Syrian army. There are also news that some time earlier ISIS began transfer of heavy weaponry from Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor after an agreement between the terror group and some regional players. So, the Americans prevent ISIS forces’ dispersal and deploy them to another significant region to reorganize themselves for more effective battle with the Syrian army until a certain later time.
In a general situation, ISIS terrorist organization is not supposed to be fully removed for the time being. At the same time, odds are that part of ISIS is deployed to Iraq to indirectly serve the US objectives. Also, other terror groups remain beside ISIS in Syria, like the Saudi and Turkey-backed terrorist groups that by no means Washington wants to add them to its terror blacklist.
Keeping Syrian government without oil
In a surprise move, ISIS terrorists handed over, without any resistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces, some of oil-rich areas like Al-Hul and Al-Shaddadi towns in Al-Hasakah. But Deir ez-Zor which is set to be a hotbed for ISIS terrorists is located in eastern Syria close to the Iraq borders. From now on, the city could serve as a supply line for the ISIS terrorists fighting in Iraq. With an area of 33,000 square kilometers and a population of 1,500,000, Deir ez-Zor has agriculture as the main source of income of its inhabitants. At the same time, the city is seen as one of Syria’s major economic hubs. The city is also home to the Euphrates River and is also considered as the most important Syria’s water resource. Deir ez-Zor is also oil-rich, but for now the Syrian government has no access to the city’s oil reserves. ISIS concentration in the city would mean continued Syrian government’s deprivation of Deir ez-Zor’s oil and economic sources.
Democrats need a major and symbolic win
The US is in desperate need of a major symbolic victory over ISIS in Syria. Obama wants to leave the White House with a relative victory so that he leaves behind a good record for himself and at the same time supports the Democrat Party’s election campaign as the country is drawing close to November 2016 presidential elections, as in past few weeks Donald Trump the Republican presidential nominee has lashed out at Democrat Obama administration for its performance in Syria and Iraq and also for its infirm battle against ISIS in the region. But it should not be forgotten that the Americans themselves are accused of creation of ISIS and so they seek saving their face through sham fight against ISIS and recapture of the terrorists-held areas. All in all, they want to show off as winners in counter-terror fight.
Tipping the military scales to get concessions in negotiations
A couple of days ago, Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, admitted that the Syrian army had the upper hand in the battlefield, but he said that the balance of power on the ground needed a transformation. Retaking Raqqa is part of efforts to rebalance the battlefield conditions in Syria. The anti-Assad alliance believes that should it recaptures Raqqa it could secure a better position in upcoming Syria peace talks.
Establishing no-fly zone to guarantee permanent US toehold
As the Alwaght news earlier reported, the US, under the guise of anti-ISIS fight and according to the secret security deal made with the Salih Muslim-led Syrian Kurds late in 2014, is eyeing dominance over the small Raqqa province in order to establish a no-fly zone in an area between Raqqa and Al-Hasakah, to turn Raqqa into its major toehold in Syria. The no-fly zone plan has been a dream of anti-Syrian countries and persons like the Turksih President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The no-fly zone project slashes part of Syria’s territory to easily re-design it into a large military base and also a safe zone for large-scale military deployments.