Update November 5, 2015

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New US initiative aim at retaking Isis’s self-styled capital

Sumel Sarker

ISlamic state33

New US initiative aim at retaking Isis’s self-styled capital

05 November 2015, Nirapad News:  The US hopes that its fighting force, to be mobilized for special operations in Syria, can add pressure on Isis and eventually help take back control of Raqqa, according to reports by news agencies, online and print media.

Raqqa, a city in eastern Syria, has become a symbol of Isis’s durability.

This risky plan, reports said, is being prepared by the Obama administration, after a series of humbling setbacks in Syria.

The plan is intended to try and retake the initiative — a push on Raqqa, the self-styled capital of the jihadi militants of Isis. Up to 50 US special operations troops, according to the latest US announcement, will be sent to Syria as part of the latest initiative in a series of moves by it.

However, this new initiative in Syria, as reports said, is fraught with peril. The US is now trying to work with a loosely organised group of Kurdish and Arab fighters. Such fighters are known as the Syrian Democratic Forces but their capabilities and conflicting loyalties are hard for Washington to assess. The US has earlier failed in its efforts to build its own fore of local fighters there, the reports add.

Tensions between the Kurdish and Arab groups and questions about the commitment of some of the fighters are considered by some members of the Syrian Arab opposition as one major weakness of the new US plans to liberate Raqqa. They describe such plans as “a disaster waiting to happen”, the reports added.

The Obama administration has been forced into a major rethink of its Syria strategy after Russian air strikes that began in late September. The strikes have coincided with the collapse of its programme to train Syrian rebels. President Obama has been facing criticism about leaving a vacuum the Russians have exploited. He has lately accepted a greater US role in a conflict he has long tried to stay out of, according to reports.

The US, as the state department and the Pentagon argue, now needs to expand its military campaign in order to create more leverage in international negotiations over Syria. Such negotiations kicked off in Vienna last week.

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