TRIBUTE TO A PRESIDENT
TRIBUTE TO A
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Russia, Syria Lead Fight to Free Raqqa from Daesh, US-Backed Forces Retreat
Obama administration pledged to play an integral role in liberating the city of Raqqa, but US-backed forces are moving in the wrong direction and are now nearly 80 miles from the Daesh stronghold.
The Syrian Army (SAA) continued to advance on Raqqa after seizing the Taqba dam on the Euphrates River only 25 miles (40km) from Raqqa this weekend. The surge represents the first time that Syrian forces have entered the Raqqa province since 2014, when Daesh first began its terror campaign.
The SAA’s assault on the Daesh stronghold has been supplemented by unrelenting Russian airstrikes in the eastern areas of Hama province, bordering Raqqa. The aligned forces are currently situated in the town of al Tabqah, recently cleared of Daesh and which served in 2014 as a launchpad for Daesh attacks, given its proximity to Raqqa.
At the same time, the US-backed and Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have reversed their position and refocused military strength toward recapturing the city of Manbij, in a bid to strengthen the opposition group’s position to destabilize Syria’s Assad regime.
The retreat by the US-backed SDF, which had previously been in competition with the Russian-backed SAA in a collective bid to recapture Raqqa from Daesh, presents a major strategic setback for the Obama administration, employing the dual goals of ousting Bashar al-Assad while also liberating territory from Daesh.
© REUTERS/ DADO RUVIC
Financial Times reporter William Wallis wrote on Monday that by recapturing Raqqa ahead of American-backed forces, the Russian and Syrian armies would “poke the Americans in the eye in a place they have long talked of helping to recapture.”
What has been to date a productive competition could erupt into a conflict between the partners, with the two-sides sharing very different geopolitical views. Russia believes it is necessary to prop up the Assad regime, at least until Daesh has been vanquished. The United States believes it is necessary to support opposition forces and oust Assad. The US effort has often stumbled, with American weaponry consistently falling into the hands of al-Nusra terrorists aligned with violent rebel groups.
Others see the retreat by Kurdish-dominated forces as an acquiescence by American military strategists, suggesting that the US and Russia are coordinating efforts to liberate territory in Syria.
US Defense Department spokesperson Peter Cook rejected this explanation, saying “in terms of direct coordination of activities on the ground [between the US and Russia] that is not happening.”
The possibility remains that both the US-backed SDF and the Russian-backed SAA could meet in Raqqa, potentially escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington. The strategic repositioning of American troops, however, has minimized that possibility albeit at considerable expense to the Obama administration.
With both sides planning to soon descend on Raqqa and bring an end to a civil war that has killed 500,000 Syrians, Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker sat down with Zafar Bangashof Toronto’s Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought to discuss the situation.
Are the US-Backed SDF and Russian-Backed SAA Forces Cooperating?
“I don’t think there is coordination between the two sides,” said Bangash. More so there appears to be a race towards Raqqa, although the Syrian Army seems to be better placed because they have already captured al Tabqah right next to a dam on the Euphrates River, and they are trying to take control of the airport there.”
“The Syrian Army is only 40km (25 miles) southwest of Raqqa whereas the Syrian Democratic Forces, dominated by the Kurds, have headed in the opposite direction, towards Manbij, which is 136 kilometers (85 miles) away from Raqqa, so the Kurds are much further away right now.”
Bangash explained that Kurdish forces are focused on playing the long game by consolidating their own territories with a view toward having a stronger hand in future negotiations, but potentially at the expense of the United States losing the race to be the first to seize Raqqa.
What is the relationship between the US military and the Kurdish-dominated forces?
“The United States is backing the Kurds fully,” said the commentator. “There are US special forces working with them and American forces wearing Kurdish uniforms have been viewed guiding them in operations, which has been problematic for relations with Turkey who has adamantly protested this.”
Bangash explained that the United States’ willingness to support Kurdish fighters even over the protests of Turkey indicate that the Obama administration is “keen on preventing the Syrian Army from taking control of their own country” by strengthening alternate forces to ultimately weaken Assad’s control over the Syrian government.
2015 President - EN from Roberto Petitpas on Vimeo.
2015 President - PT from Roberto Petitpas on Vimeo.
VS + VP ENG-RO PT FR
21st Century Wire A BRAMERTON A. Orlov Abayomi Azikiwe ABIZAID ABOGADOS ABOGADOS PROGRESISTAS DE ESPAÑA Acción secreta activism Adam GArrie Ajamu Baraka AL-ASSAD AL-HUSAINI Aleksandar PAVIC alex gorka Alex Lantier Alexander Azadgan ALEXANDER DUGIN ALEXANDER KUZNETSOV Alexandra Bruce Alexandre Artamonov Alexandre Cazes ALEXIS Ambrose Evans-Pritchard an Greenhalgh Ana de Sousa Dias ANA SOUSA DIAS ANASTASOV Anatol Lieven Andre Vltchek ANDREI AKULOV Andrew Griffin Andrew Korybko Andrew P. Napolitano Andrey Afanasyev animals Ann Diener Ann Wright Anna Hunt Anna Von Reitz Anne Speckhard Ph. D. Anne Speckhard PH. D Anti-Media News Desk Antony C. Black aRABIC ARAM MIRZAEI Ariel Noyola Rodríguez Asaf Durakovic Asma Assad ASMOLOV ASSANGE Avelino Rodrigues AVNERY BAKER bankers BAOFU barcelona Barrett Brown Bashar al-Assad Baxter Dmitry BECKER Before it's News BEGLEY BERGER BILL SARDI Binoy Kampmark BOGDANOV Brazilian BRENNAN BRIAN CLOUGHLEY BULGARIAN BUTLER By Jack Heart & Orage CABRAS Captagon Carey Wedler CAROL ADL CARTALUCCI Catherine Austin Fitts CATHY O'BRIEN cats Chelsea Manning Choice and Truth Chossudovsky Chris Cole CHRIS HEDGES Christopher Black CIA Claire Bernish clinton Collective Evolution Comunidad Saker Latinoamérica COOK Covert Action Craig McKee CUNNINGHAM CURENT CONCERNS CURRENT CONCERNS Daniel Lazare Daniel McCARTHY Daniele Ganser DANSK Darius Shahtahmasebi DARK JOURNALIST DARK JOURNALISTt DAVID HOROVITZ David Lemire David STERN David Swanson DEAN Deena Stryker Denali Deutsch DINNUCI DIPLOMACY Dmisa Malaroat DMITRIY SEDOV Dmitry Minin Domenico Losurdo Donald Trump doni DONINEWS Dr. Kevin Barrett DUFF DUGIN EDITOR'S CHOICE EDWARD SNOWDEN El Periodico Eliason ELISABETE LUIS FIALHO Eliseo Bertolasi EMMONS endgahl ENGDAHL Eric S. Margolis Eric Zuesse ESCOBAR EUROPE Evan at Fight for the Future F. William Engdahl FANG Farage farewell address FEDERICO PIERACCINI FERRIS Field McConnell finance Finian Cunningham FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE TV forbidden nowledge Foster Gamble four horsemen Fr. Andrew Phillips FRANCESCA CHAMBERS Francesco Colafemmina Freeman FRENCH FRISK FULFORD Fuller G20 G20 SUMMIT GALLAGHER Gareth Porter GARY NORTH General Flynn George Gallanis GERMAN GERMANOS Gilad Atzmon Gilbert Doctorow Glenn Greenwald GLOBAL RESEARCH global warming GORDON GORDON DUFF Graham E. Fuller Graham Vanbergen GREENHALGH GREENWALD Greg Hunter Gregory Copley GRETE MAUTNER GUEST CONTRIBUTORS GUNNAR GUTERRES HAGOPIAN Hakan Karakurt Herbert McMaster HERMAN HERNÂNI CARVALHO hill HILLARY CLINTON hollywood http://www.independent.co.uk/ http://www.northcrane.com/ http://www.salem-news.com/ http://yournewswire.com/ HUDON HUDSON ideeCondividi INAUGURATION INCÊNDIOS Inform Clear House Internet IODINE Isaac Davis ITULAIN Ivan Blot JALIFE-RAHME JAMES James Comey JAMES CORBETT JAMES GEORGE JATRAS James ONeil JAMES PETRAS Jane Grey Jay Greenberg Jean Perier Jean Périer Jean-Claude Paye JEFFREY SMITH JEZEBEL JILL STEIN Jim W. Dean Joachim Hagopian john McCain JOHN PILGER John Podesta John W. Whitehead JONAS E. ALEXIS Jonathan Marshall JONES Joseph Thomas JULIAN ASSANGE KADI Kadir A. Mohmand Kadyrov kalee brown Karen Kwiatkowski Karine Bechet-Golovko KATEHON KATHEON Katherine Frisk Ken O’Keefe Kenneth P. VOGEL KERRY BOLTON Kerry Cassidy Kerry Picket Kevin Barret. VT Kim Petersen KIMBERLEY KINZER KIRYANOV KOENIG Konstantin Asmolov KORYBKO KORZUN Krum Velkov Larry Chin Laurent Gerra lavr LAVROV LE PARISIEN Le Saker Francophone LENDMAN Lionel Shriver LOFGREN LVOV MACMILLAN macron Makia Freeman Manlio Dinucci Manlio Dinucci - Manuel Ochsenreiter Marco Cassiano MARCUS WEISGERBER MARGARET KIMBERLEY MARIA ZAKHAROVA Mark Citadel Mark Taliano Markus Frohnmaier Martin Berger Martin Hurkes MARUSEK Matt Agorist Matt Peppe MATTEO rRENZI MATTHEW COLE MATTHEW JAMISON MCLAUGHLIN MÉLENCHON MELKULANGARA BHADRAKUMAR MERCOURIS MEYSSAN MICHAEL AVERKO Michael Brenner Michael Hudson MICHAEL JABARA CARLEY Michael S. Rozeff Michael T. Klare Middle East MIG video mike harris Mike Whitney MINA Mint Press News MintPressNews MIRANDA Misión Verdad MKULTRA Mohamed Mokhtar Qandiel MOHMAND Montenegro MOON OF ALABAMA moonofalabama MOST DAMAGING WIKILEAKS NATO NEO NEWS DESK Nicholas Nicholaides Nick Turse NIKANDROV Nile Bowie NISSANI NORMAN SOLOMON NOVOROSSIA novorussia NYTIMES obama obamas Oliver Stone Olivier Renault ONU ORLOV OSCAR FORTIN PALESTINE PARRY Patrick Iber Patrick J. Buchanan Patrick Martin PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS Paul Fitzgerald Paul R. PILLAR Paul Street PAYE PCR Pedro Bustamante pedrógão grande PEPE ESCOBAR Peter Dale Scot Peter Dale Scott Peter Koenig PETER KORZUN PETRAS Ph.D Phil Butler PICCARD Pierre Farge PILGER PISKORSKI PODESTA Pope Francis PORTUGUESE PRAVDA prc PRESTON JAMES Prof Michel Chossudovsky Prof Rodrigue Tremblay Project Veritas PUTIN PUTIN/TRUMP Putin/Trump meeting PYOTR ISKENDEROV Queen Elizabeth Rajan Menon Raphaël Meyssan rebecca gordon Redmayne-Titley RELAX réseau Réseau International Réseau Voltaire Réseau Voltaire: Revue Défense Nationale Ricardo Vaz RICHARD DOLAN Richard Galustian Richard Labévière Richard Spencer Rick Sterling Rob Urie Robert Bridge Robert F. Kennedy Jr Robert J. Burrowes Robert J. O’Dowd Robert O’Dowd ROBERT PARRY robert steele ROBERTS rof. Mohssen Massarrat ROLAND Roland San Juan blog ROMANIA PROTESTS ROMANIAN Ron Aledo RON PAUL Ron Paul Institute RT Rudolph Giuliani RUDY GIULIANI Russia feed RUSSIA TODAY RUSSIAN Russian Insider Russie politics Russka RUSSOPHILE Ryan Dawson Ryan Gallagher Salman Rafi Sheikh sana sanders SANTOS SILVA Sarah Abed SCAHILL SCOTT Scott Humor Sean Adl-Tabatabai SERGEY LAVROV sessions Seth Ferris SETH RICH SHAKDAM Shawn Hamilton SHEIKH sic notícias SIMON PARKES Smith & Wesson SNOWDEN SNYDER Sophie & Co Soros SOUTH FRONT SOUTHFRONT SPANISH speech GERMAN MP Speer-Williams Sputinik sPUTNICK SPUTNIK STACHNIO State of the Nation STEPHEN KARGANOVIC Stephen Kinzer Stephen Lendman Steve Pieczenik STEVE PIECZENIK: Steven MacMillan STONE STORM CLOUDS GATHERING StormCloudsGathering.com Strategic Culture STRATTON STRYKER Sunagawa Syria TAKEHON TALIANO TASS TEREHOV The Anti-Media The Duran THE INTERCEPT THE SAKER the true activist THERAPEOFJUSTICE Thierry Meyssan Third Presidential Debate Tillerson tom dispatch TOM ELEY Tom Engelhardt Tom Feeley TOM JOAD TomDispatch TOMGRAM Tony Cartalucci True Activist TrueActivist.com trump TSUKANOVA TTIP TURKEY TYLER DURDEN Udo Ulfkotte Ukrainian Deserter USA ELECTION USA ELECTIONS Valentin Vasilescu Van AUKEN Vanessa Beeley VASILESCU Vault 7 Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity VETERANS TODAY VETERNAS TODAY Victory Day video videos VIETNAM VETERANS Viktor Mikhin VITALY CHURKIN Vladimir Chizhov Vladimir Safronkov Vladimir Terehov VLTCHEK VT Waking Times WANTA Washingtons blog WAYNE MADSEN WESTBERG Westmoreland WHITEHEAD Whitney Webb WIKILEAKS Wikispooks William Blum WOODS world cup 2018 Xi Jinping Yameen Khan Yanis Varoufakis YEMEN Youssef A. Khaddour ZAKHAROVA ZÉ GERALDO ZEROHEDGE ZUESSE