Friday, October 28, 2016

There Is No U.S. Plan To Attack The Islamic State Stronghold At Raqqa In Syria



Nancy Youssef, Daily Beast: U.S. Doesn’t Know Who Will Attack ISIS HQ

The Pentagon swears that the assault on the ISIS capital of Raqqa will begin in ‘weeks.’ Who will attack the city? Well, that’s still up in the air.

The plan to cut off the city of Raqqa, the capital of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, could begin as early as “two weeks,” a U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast Thursday.

But which troops would eventually enter Raqqa after it is surrounded—and how the U.S.-led coalition would choose which warring allies should be involved in the invasion of Raqqa—have yet to be sorted out. In other words: U.S. military this week may have begun to trumpet the definitive battle to defeat ISIS, but they have yet to finalize the details of how the battle for Raqqa would shake out, defense officials conceded to The Daily Beast.

Instead, there are dueling battle plans emerging between purported NATO partners. The U.S.-led coalition is saying that the fight for Raqqa is about to begin, led by Kurdish forces known as the YPG. Turkey, meanwhile, is vowing to stop the YPG.

Read more ....

Previous Post: U.S. Defense Secretary: 'Military Offensive To Retake Raqqa From The Islamic State Will Begin In Weeks' (October 26, 2016).

WNU Editor: I gave a prediction a few days back that any offensive against the Islamic State stronghold at Raqqa is a year or two away. I am still sticking with that prediction.

5 comments:

mlacix said...

The above article I belive basde on the CJTF briefing of Oct. 26. If you have time, and interested on the Mosul - Raqqa things, worht a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc7vtLt2a1A

James said...

mlacix,
I listened to the first 20 minutes of the CJTF 10/26. First impressions 1) It was standard political/mil speak. 2) They are worried about the Iraqi regulars getting their job done. 3) The US (at least Townshend) doesn't like the Iraqi overall plan, but believes it could work. 4) Raqqa There is no if little communications with anybody else on a plan to retake that place. I'll listen some more, but I'm having some health issues so it'll take a little bit.

Rumors and odds and ends: The Iraqi regulars (9th Div) are bogged down east and south of Mosul. The Kurd's (the ones still there) are very half hearted. Shia militia formations are now moving into north and west positions of the city. I think they are readying themselves for any opportunities that unfold to drive into the city.
Or it might all be just a pause as different forces hit their phase lines and relog.

mlacix said...

James:

Get well, hope it's not something very serious. This whole PMF offensive toward Tal Afar is seems overhyped for me. I had a hard time to actually find a location (if I found the right one) that the "ongoing" forces captured recently, well it's S of Mosul, and they still have 50km till Tal Afar. For comparison Mosul city itself is about 30-35km away from that same position. We will open our Christmas gifts long before PMF would reach the Afar.


What I mentioned to you before, that few weeks ago I dug into the possibilities of the offensive, for me the most logical plan was something like, Kurds push on the East side of Mosul, until they reach the border of the city, while Iraqis advance from the south, but on the western side of the river, and their main goal is not to reach the city on the riverside, but to capture the 2-3 ridges (hilltops, mountains) that is W-SW from Mosul. Some of those ridges perfect to oversee the whole city, the others are just make a huge valley on the West ( at the end of the last ridge, there is Tal Afar). The ridges are not huge, mostly, but this elevation different is enough to oversee huge flat and empty areas. For me the encirclment of Mosul is based on those ridges, and not on Tal Afar itself. PMF very likely will take the blood price when the actual offensive insdie Mosul city will start.

James said...

I see what you mean on the ridges and their overlook possibilities. I count five bridges, at least three good for for heavy equipment. I'm beginning to wonder if the Shia operation west of Mosul has anything to do with Mosul at least in a direct sense. It's possible they may let the US, Iraqi, and what's left of Peshmerga spend their energy taking the place while they secure transit corridors to the west.
I think my big fat head is finally trying to kill me, which would be poetic justice.

mlacix said...

I think that would be a too much grab for them, and the rest of the forces is not really into dying as much as sectarian militias. We will see, it's a very long story still.