Very little fanfare for the kick off. Appearing to be on the QT. Just days before the election?
Will there be fallout for the US election? By all appearances this will be a real fight! Not like Mosul. (Which is quite frankly, an ethnic cleansing operation, killing and displacing the residents for the middle east remake)
*My suspicions are the US hand was forced into this move. Now.
*As mentioned previously if Aleppo was to be taken back by Syria- The US and Kurds would need Raqqa for leverage over Damascus. It seems the US backed terrorists will lose Aleppo.
*There was news that Turkey, Russia and Syria were making a deal to cooperate on taking Raqqa? Did they succeed? If they did the US would be forced to make their move sooner rather then later.
Cut to the chase- No one wants to die for Raqqa.
But, but, but, there is a light in the tunnel!
Iraqi PMU recently announced that after Mosul the next target for its forces will be Raqqa. The offensive will be coordinate with Syrian governemnt. Maybe this is why Americans are getting nervous. If PMU and the SAA manage to captured Raqqa, the Syrian government will be able to establish a friendly administration in this city. Then the game is over.
Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for the Iraq-sanctioned paramilitary known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), said on Saturday that they will fight alongside Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces in Syria after finishing their battle against ISIS in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
* It's also been openly stated the US and Turkey are NOT cooperating on the safe zones.
The United States is not working Turkey to create a "safe zone;’ for refugees along the Turkish-Syrian border for refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war, the Department of Defense spokesperson Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik.*There is also the FACT that the US and their Kurdish proxies are creating the conditions to draw Turkey into a quagmire
Will Turkey enter Raqqa alone?
The US won't support them (Turkey) . But I suspect the US wants them to enter so they will become over extended and weakened. In other words, yes, I'm suggesting the US and their Kurdish proxies are creating the conditions for Turkey in Raqqa that could see Turkey 'get in over it's head'
Syria, Russia and Iran had better pick up the slack on Raqqa or Syria will be much worse off in the long run! Turkey can build their border wall and defend the territory they have presently.
Finally: Hubby found this for me because I was talkin' timelines at home, with him
The problem vexing U.S. policymakers and military planners is that ethnic Kurds make up about two-thirds ( Fact the SDF is almost entirely Kurdish. About two thirds = about 7/8ths- get what I'm saying? ) of the 30,000-strong Syrian Democratic Forces. That’s a problem not only for Raqqa’s predominantly population of Arabs, who have sparred with Kurds for generations, but also for Turkey, a critical ally who flatly rejects Kurdish participation in the battle.
Clearly the US and it's terrorists don't have the Arabs to fight, or Raqqa would not have begun today. Hence my comment on ethnic cleansing. I hold the opinion the US ALWAYS intended to ethnically cleanse Raqqa, and the FP writing about looking for Arabs is rubbish.
Dorrian said the U.S. and its Syrian allies are looking for local Arab fighters from the Raqqa area to be the city’s primary holding force. Those fighters haven’t been identified yet, and they’ll have to be trained and equipped before they’re ready for action — all of which pushes the timeline for the taking of Raqqa back months
In a sign of concern over the growing Kurdish military might on its southern flank, Ankara in August sent a Turkish-backed Syrian Arab militia into northern Syria. Its aim: Both to push ISIS away from Turkey’s border, and place a wedge between two Kurdish-held cantons in the eastern and western parts of northern Syria. The move sought to dent the long-held Kurdish dream of a continuous homeland stretching from Iraq all the way through the entirety of northern Syria.
Turkish military and government officials have warned repeatedly that the plan for their special forces and allied militias in Syria is to first evict Kurds from the ground they had seized, before the Turks and their allies turn their attention to Raqqa.Was the US forced to move on Raqqa ahead of moves planned by other parties?
1-Did the US whisper sweet nothings inTurkey's ear?
2-Did Hulusi Akar betray Turkey? (I don't trust him and have said that repeatedly)
3-Are the claims made by Dunford and reported on below totally bogus- Which is entirely plausible and the stuff official narratives are fabricated from
We have out of context quotes and Dunford is saying stuff I cannot personally believe. Can't take at face value. It sounds like the promise regarding Manbij, again. It seems preposterous the Turks would believe that a second time! When they didn't believe it would be kept the first time! The betrayal over Manbij resulted in Operation Euphrates
Defense.gov- The official story of the US
“The coalition and Turkey will work together on the long-term plan for seizing, holding and governing Raqqa,” Dunford said following his meetings.The coalition AND Turkey? So Turkey is NOT part of the coalition.
Dunford said he meet with Akar to coordinate operational planning in many areas, including operations against ISIL in Raqqa, operations in Mosul and others. “Obviously as a close ally, we really just want to make sure that we’re completely tight as we work through some challenging issues,” he said.
“[The SDF] are moving south to isolate the enemy that’s in the vicinity of Raqqa and in Raqqa,” the general said. “We always advertised that the isolation phase is going to take months.”"We always advertised that the isolation phase is going to take months.”- Often what is advertised is not what is delivered!
The SDF is making sure the ISIL forces that are in Mosul cannot reinforce the ISIL forces in Raqqa, and that the force in Raqqa cannot conduct external operations “into Turkey, into Europe and into the United States,” Dunford said
I'm always highly suspicious of out of context quotes.. If ISIS/L carries out external operations are all cards off the table?
“We always knew the SDF wasn’t the solution for holding and governing Raqqa,” Dunford said. “What we are working on right now is to find the right mix of forces for the operation.”If Dunford KNOWS the SDF wasnt the solution why move on Raqqa now?
“[The operation needs] a predominantly Arab and Sunni Arab force,” he said. “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.”Some initial outreach to forces in Raqqa proper? So why the move now?
The meeting today reinforced the long-held promise that the coalition would not move ahead with the seizure phase in Raqqa “without incorporating the Turks and their perspective into our plans,” Dunford said. “They will be helpful in identifying the right forces to do that.”More out of context quotes..
“We want to be totally transparent about this with our Turkish ally,” Dunford said.
I'm leaning towards number 3 being the correct answer