The struggle to liberate Raqqa from the Islamic State represents a fundamental piece in Washington’s strategy to strengthen its presence in Syria. While the government of Bashar al-Assad, supported by the Russian Federation and by the Islamic Republic of Iran, is winning its war to push the Islamist terrorists out of the country, the Pentagon looks at Syrian Kurdistan as the “Trojan horse” it can use to solidify its own influence and to possibility divide the Arabic country and damage its territorial integrity.
The presence of the USA is substantial, and raises suspicions that their aim is not just support of the Kurdish population against the Caliphate. According to what was said over the last few days by the Arabic newspaper Sharq al Awsat, the United States have installed “seven military bases in the areas controlled by the Kurdish forces supported by Washington, deploying 1,300 U.S. soldiers in total.” That is according to Saban Hammu, a Syrian Kurdish commander of the Population Defence Units (YPG).
The USA military bases in the territories controlled by the Kurdish
The news about the USA bases in Syria was confirmed also by other sources. As reported by Giordano Stabile in “La Stampa”, and an analysis published in Dagospia, two of these bases may be located “near to Hansakah, one near Qamishli, two in the area of Al-Malekiyeh, one in Tall Abyad and lastly one in Qarah Qawzaqal. Centcom (United States Central Command) reported that the contingent remains limited, even though it has admitted that the Air Force has expanded its aerial base in the North of Syria in order to support the struggling reconquesition of Raqqa during this crucial phase.”
Moreover, as the same newspaper writes, “the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), composed of 80% Kurdish guerrillas, are a force made up of 40,000 men. At least 10,000 of these are involved in the attack on Raqqa, with the armaments, munitions and fuel supplies involved in this effort being massive. However the number of airstrips being created to supposedly accommodate these C-130 airships still seems oversized. Even more controversial is the military expansion taking place in the South, where rebels trained by the Pentagon are clash with the Syrian government army.”
USA will stay in Syria for the logn haul
From the eyes of a keen observer, the American strategy looks very clear. In April, the SDF announced that control of Raqqa, following the defeat of Daesh, would have gone in the hands of a “civil council” and not the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. This council would have been supported by the presence of over 3,000 American soldiers. General Joseph Votel stated that these ground troops would have stayed in Raqqa for an extended period after the defeat of the Caliphate in order to “help the American allies” to stabilize the region and plan “efforts to maintain the peace of Syria.” A long term plan very different from the one illustrated in prior months.
Kurds in Syria
The Kurdish population represent less than the 10% of the Syrian population. Attracted by Murray Bookchin‘s libertarian municipality theory, based on the practice of the direct democracy through the institution of popular assemblies in villages, towns, neighborhoods and cities, federated in one confederation of libertarian municipalities, the YPG – the Population Defense Unit – were willing to experiment with implementing the system in the territories taken away from the Islamist forces, mostly located in the North of the Country. The model is based on what is currently being implemented in Rojava, a region positioned in the North-east of Syria under Kurdish control.
However, as the geopolitical analyst Stephen Gowans points out on Global Research, “the Kurdish guerrillas are collaborating with the USA, trying to impose a divided Syria, in which the Kurdish population, which are a minority in the country, controls a significant part of the Syrian territory, including areas inhabited mostly by Arabs.” In this planned national division, Syrian-Kurdish, have two more formidable allies in addition to the US: Israel and Saudi Arabia. The words of a Democratic Union Party (PYD) member, Salih Muslim, are indicative. He praised the role of Saudi Arabia in the promotion of Syrian stability, and accused the Syrian regime of supporting “sectarian and nationalist projects”.