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Matthew RJ Brodsky, National Interest: America's Political Gamble in Syria May Not Pay Off
President Trump’s plan to defeat the Islamic State relies on the complex web of relations between the United States, Turkey and the Kurds.
As the Islamic State’s territory continues to shrink in the Middle East, its henchmen and those inspired by the extremist group are increasingly lashing out at soft targets in the West. The types of attacks recently experienced in London and Manchester are likely to continue until the radical Islamist ideology that justifies and calls for those terrorist tactics is defeated from within. Muslims are required to give their pledge of bay’a (allegiance) to the caliphate if, according to the Sunni criteria, a legitimate caliph such as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is found. Its mere existence constitutes the greatest recruitment tool. Therefore, a crucial first step is taking away the territory that ISIS claims for its caliphate because it will lessen the magnetic pull on would-be jihadis.
It brings into focus U.S. efforts to liberate the Islamic State’s self-declared capital in Raqqa, Syria, which began Monday. Reflecting the multiethnic composition of the U.S.-backed coalition—despite the overwhelmingly Kurdish participation—their ethnic Turkmen spokesman, Talal Silo, told Reuters the fighting would be fierce “because Daesh (Islamic State) will die to defend their so-called capital.”
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WNU Editor: The U.S. strategy and goal of eliminating the Islamic State in Syria will be successful .... probably by the end of the year. After that .... focus will then going to shift on what will be the status for the Kurds. In this area U.S. policy is not clear .... and this is probably deliberate. The Syrian government will be wanting to assert its control, and Turkey will be equally determined to make sure that the Kurds do not attain any political power or independence in this part of Syria. Will this be a recipe for another conflict .... if history is any indication .... the answer will be yes.