Monday, February 27, 2017
Momentum Grows For The Big Push To Seize The Islamic State Capital At Raqqa
Reuters: In push to reclaim Raqqa, Trump's choices range from bad to worse
U.S. President Donald Trump's push against Islamic State in Syria could present him with an unenviable choice: Alienate NATO ally Turkey by relying on Kurdish fighters or adopt a plan that may slow the assault and require many more U.S. combat forces.
The objective of the coming U.S.-backed offensive is the city of Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto capital, which U.S. officials think the hardline group has been using as a hub to hatch plots against the West.
Despite months of U.S. efforts to allay Turkish concerns, Ankara is insisting the offensive be carried out by local Arab fighters with support from Turkish troops, as opposed to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, which in addition to Arabs includes Kurdish fighters who Turkey considers a threat.
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WNU Editor: The Pentagon delivered their draft plan to defeat the Islamic State to the White House today .... Pentagon delivers draft plan to defeat Islamic State to White House (Reuters). We do not know what is in this Pentagon report, but the signs are for a major escalation .... Syria's last battle? Big push on IS capital Raqqa gathers momentum (Ed Blanche, The Arab Weekly/UPI).