US Obstructing Raqqa Liberation Campaign

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US Obstructing Raqqa Liberation Campaign
by Stephen Lendman
Days earlier, US CENTCOM commanding General Joseph Votel secretly visited Syria. He met with Kurdish fighters and terrorist groups to coordinate strategy on preventing government forces from retaking ISIS stronghold Raqqa.
According to retired Syrian Col. Elias Ebrahim, operations to liberate Raqqa were obstructed to save ISIS fighters from being routed, wanting them preserved for future US-planned attacks.
The main reason Washington touts a political solution is to avoid joint US/Russian anti-terrorism operations.
America’s demanded political transition is code language for regime change. Assad got a choice. Step down voluntarily or be forced out militarily.
According to Ebrahim, Kurdish forces said ISIS shifting fighters and military hardware from Raqqa to Deir Ezzur and oil-rich areas suggest US-led Western dirty hands manipulating things.
ISIS is transferring large numbers of its heavily armed forces to Eastern Syria, “mainly in Deir Ezzur and Eastern Homs, to save its revenues from smuggling of oil and gas,” according to Kurdish sources.
It “previously made such decisions, including retreating from al-Houl and al-Shadadi in Hasaka where the terrorist group left the battlefields without any resistance against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).”
Its decision to move from Raqqa “is in line with the US policy…which opposes the Syrian government force’ rule and control over the country’s energy-rich regions in Deir Ezzur and Homs.”
So far, it transferred “12 Hummer vehicles from Raqqa to Albu Kamal in Deir Ezzur and has deployed several US-made Abrams artilleries to the village of al-Hosseiniyeh Northwestern of Deir Ezzur.”
Government forces together with Kurdish fighters launched a large-scale campaign to liberate Raqqa. Operations began Tuesday. US warplanes are protecting ISIS elements on the phony pretext of combating them.
Civilians are prevented from leaving the city. They’re used as human shields. Conditions on the ground are deplorable – inadequate or unavailable food, water, medical care and safe havens from fighting.
Sergey Lavrov called liberating Raqqa a major anti-terrorism goal. It could have been accomplished earlier if Washington hadn’t obstructed it.
Lavrov believing coordinated US/Russian military operations ahead are possible is wishful thinking. Numerous times, Pentagon and State Department spokesmen ruled it out.
Washington wants joint Russian, Syrian and Kurdish forces defeated, not aided. In 2013, ISIS captured Raqqa, declared its capital the following year.
America and its rogue partners continue aiding their fighters, along with all other anti-Assad groups.
No so-called moderate rebels exist. All anti-government forces are US-supported death squads, imported from dozens of countries.
War won’t end as long as Assad remains president and Syrian sovereign independence exists.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.