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War in Syria: Can the Kurdish forces fight back?

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2019-10-09 17:05 War in Syria: Can the Kurdish forces fight back?

Added on the 09/10/2019 19:05:22 - Copyright : France 24 EN

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  • Trump seeks Syria pullout as advisers warn of hard work ahead

    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he wanted to “get out” of Syria but offered no timetable, as his advisers warned of the hard work left to defeat Islamic State and stabilize areas recaptured from the hardline militant group. Trump told a news conference the United States would “not rest until ISIS is gone,” using an acronym for the militant group. But he also suggested that victory was imminent. The Pentagon and State Department have held that a longer term U.S. effort would be needed to ensure that Islamic State’s defeat is a lasting one. “It’s time,” Trump told reporters, when asked if he was inclined to withdraw U.S. forces. “We were very successful against (Islamic State). We’ll be successful against anybody militarily. But sometimes it’s time to come back home, and we’re thinking about that very seriously.” The United States is waging near-daily air strikes in Syria and has deployed about 2,000 troops on the ground, including U.S. special operations forces whose advising has helped Kurdish militia and other U.S.-backed fighters capture territory from Islamic State. U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, who oversees U.S. troops in the Middle East as the head of Central Command, estimated on Tuesday that more than 90 percent of the group’s territory in Syria had been taken back from the militants since 2014. Trump estimated the percentage of territory recaptured in Iraq and Syria at “almost 100 percent,” a figure that U.S. officials say is correct - it is about 98 percent - but does not highlight the work left in Syria. The big hurdle, in the U.S. military’s view, is seizing Islamic State-held territory around the Syrian town of Abu Kamal. That effort that has been slowed as U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters shift their focus away from Islamic State toward a Turkish offensive against Kurdish allies elsewhere in Syria’s complex, multi-pronged civil war, now in its eighth year. Brett McGurk, the special U.S. envoy for the global coalition against Islamic State, speaking alongside Votel at an event in Washington on Tuesday, said the U.S. fight against Islamic State was not over. “We are in Syria to fight ISIS. That is our mission and our mission isn’t over and we are going to complete that mission,” McGurk said. OBAMA DO-OVER Experts were divided about the significance of Trump’s simultaneous musings about withdrawal and his assurance that the United States will not depart until Islamic State is defeated. The militant group is widely expected to revert to guerilla tactics once the last remnants of its once self-styled “caliphate” are captured by U.S.-backed forces. Jon Alterman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank, said a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would undermine U.S. leverage in talks to end Syria’s civil war.

    04/04/2018 - Wochit
  • Islamic State Counter Attack Causes Fierce Clashes In Syria's Raqqa

    Reuters has reported that a war monitor said Islamic State regained control over most of the industrial district in Syria's Raqqa on Friday, but the alliance fighting it denied that while acknowledging there was a jihadist counter attack in the east of the city. The assault marked Islamic State's first sustained effort to fight back against the slow advance into Raqqa by the Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF, a U.S.-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab groups, took the industrial district this month in its biggest gain so far in Islamic State's Syrian capital of Raqqa. It said on Friday that there had been heavy clashes since late Thursday in east Raqqa, where the industrial district is located, in the areas of al-Rawdha, al-Nahdha and al-Daraiyah. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said Islamic State had regained control over most of the industrial area in fierce fighting. The SDF, on its social media feed, acknowledged there had been intense clashes, but added the whole industrial district was still in its hands and the attack had been thwarted. On Thursday, the Observatory said the SDF had managed to take the last stretch of the Euphrates' south bank opposite Raqqa, completely encircling Islamic State inside the city.

    30/06/2017 - Wochit
  • Syria: Turkey clears large parts of its border pushing back IS group and Kurdish forces

    Syria: Turkey clears large parts of its border pushing back IS group and Kurdish forces

    02/09/2016 - France 24 EN
  • Syrian Kurdish YPG Expects Negotiations With Damascus Soon

    According to Reuters, the head of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia believes that talks with the government over the future of the northeast region will begin in days after a “positive” reaction from Damascus. Any deal between the YPG and President Bashar al-Assad’s state could piece together the two biggest chunks of a nation splintered by eight years of conflict. Dialogue attempts have revived in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from the Kurdish-led region.

    24/01/2019 - Wochit
  • War is Syria: Are Kurdish forces battling the Islamic state group shifting alliance?

    War is Syria: Are Kurdish forces battling the Islamic state group shifting alliance?

    08/01/2019 - France 24 EN
  • Let Down By U.S., Syrian Kurdish Leaders Look to Russia And Assad

    According to Reuters, Kurdish leaders who run much of northern Syria are urging Russia and its ally Damascus to send forces to shield the border from the threat of a Turkish offensive. Their call for a return of Syrian government forces to the border, which Kurdish fighters points to the depth of their crisis after U.S. President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw US forces.

    27/12/2018 - Wochit
  • Turkey Disapproves Of US Setting Up 'Observation Posts'

    Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar is uneasy about U.S. plans relating to the Syrian-Turkey border. According to Reuters, the U.S. plans to set up “observation posts” in Syria along parts of its border with Turkey. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recently said they would help focus on clearing the final Islamic State militant strongholds. Yet Akar thinks they would have a negative impact on perceptions of the U.S. in Turkey.

    24/11/2018 - Wochit