The US has not missed an opportunity to pit ISIS and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) against each other, trying to “kill two birds with one stone,” founder and director of Gnosos, Ammar Waqqaf, told.
The analyst was commenting on reports that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have slowed down their advance toward Raqqa, the so-called capital of ISIS. According to him, there are two possible explanations have been offered to explain this process.
According to one theory, the Kurds want guarantees when it comes to their place in a post-war Syria. They would want some assurances from the United States that they wouldn’t be left alone once Raqqa is liberated.
The other theory has it that the SDF are giving ISIS fighters time to flee the city. This in turn explains why Raqqa has not been encircled. From a military point of view, it does make sense to give the enemy the space to flee. Otherwise you would have to confront them in a well-fortified environment. In order to reduce military costs, injuries and deaths, you would want the terrorists to flee.
The analyst further noted that even if ISIS is pushed out of Raqqa, the militants would be able to regroup elsewhere. “We’ve seen that before. We’ve seen movements from Mosul toward Syria that were not obstructed in any way by the US-led coalition” he noted.